Could I Make A Mustard Allergy Claim?

If you suffer a mustard allergy, you’re probably fully aware of the effects it would have on you. You probably spend a lot of time checking ingredients before purchasing or consuming any food. But what if you were to suffer an allergic reaction to mustard because the food labelling wasn’t accurate? If that happens to you, it could be grounds to seek compensation for any suffering that was caused by the labelling error.  This guide looks at the sort of negligence that could lead to a personal injury claim, who could be held responsible and how much compensation might be awarded in a successful mustard allergy claim against the responsible party.

Mustard allergy compensation claims

Mustard allergy compensation claims

Legal Helpline help anybody who’s considering a personal injury claim. We offer free  advice and a no obligation assessment of your case. If the claim has a chance of being won, we would introduce you to one of our panel of solicitors who work on a No Win No Fee basis for all personal injury claims they take on.

If you would like to start the claims process right away, please call us on 0161 696 9685 today. Alternatively, if you’re allergic to mustard and want to know more about claiming, please continue reading.

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A Guide To Mustard Allergy Reaction Claims

Our guide answers some common questions we are frequently asked such as:

  • What is mustard allergy?
  • Is a mustard allergy common?
  • What foods commonly contain mustard?

We look at when it might be possible to claim compensation for negligence on the part of a third party which caused you to suffer a reaction.

Importantly, when you make any form of personal injury claim, you’ll need to demonstrate the following:

  • You were made ill
  • By somebody who owed you a duty of care
  • And it was negligence by that person which caused your suffering

You would also need to make sure you file your case within the personal injury claims time limit. In normal situations, this is 3-years from the date of your allergic reaction. If you’re a parent and would like to claim on behalf of your child, the 3-year time limit doesn’t apply. You can claim on their behalf at any point before they turn 18 years of age. If you don’t claim on their behalf, the time limit starts from the date of their 18th birthday which in short, means they have up till they are 21 to seek compensation from the responsible party.

We look at the causes, symptoms and treatment of a mustard allergy, and cover food labelling requirements as well as who might be liable for your suffering. We also look at what evidence you would need to provide to help prove your claim.

The guide also looks at the more severe cases where an allergic reaction can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition which could be fatal.

When you’ve finished reading our guide, please call an adviser if you still have questions. Our advice is free, and we won’t put any pressure on you to make a claim should you not wish to.

What Is A Mustard Allergy?

It’s important to point out that a mustard allergy differs from an intolerance to mustard. An intolerance usually affects the digestive system whereas an allergy is an immune system issue which sees an excessive reaction to consuming mustard even though it is harmless. While someone who is intolerant to mustard might experience minor symptoms of an allergic reaction, they are  rarely serious or life threatening.

If you suspect that you or your baby, suffer from a mustard allergy, the NHS advice is to arrange an appointment with your GP as soon as possible. They’ll start by asking a number of questions regarding symptoms including:

  • How long they lasted
  • What severity the symptoms were
  • When the symptoms began
  • What food you were eating at the time
  • Is this the first time you’ve had the reaction
  • Whether you suffer from any other food allergies

If they suspect you could have a mustard allergy, they may refer you to an allergy clinic. These clinics can use a number of different tests to determine if you’re allergic to mustard or not. These tests are carried out in a clinical setting which means that should you suffer a reaction, medical help is at hand to deal with an emergency immediately. The tests include:

  • Skin prick tests – where a small amount of mustard will be placed on the skin. The skin is then pricked by a needle to allow the mustard to react with your immune system. Symptoms such as swelling, itching or redness would usually confirm the allergy
  • Blood tests – these are used to measure the number of allergic antibodies in your blood
  • Elimination diets – these are used to remove the allergen from your diet to see if the symptoms reduce

Which Foods Could Commonly Contain Mustard Products?

If you suffer from a mustard allergy, there are a number of different foods which might contain mustard seeds or mustard powder as well as traditional mustard paste. Some of the foods to avoid if you have a mustard allergy include:

  • Crisps and pretzels
  • Ketchup and mayonnaise
  • Salads and dressings
  • Processed meats
  • Fish paste or fish sauce
  • Some pickles
  • Sausage meat
  • Stock, soups and sauces
  • Seasonings or flavourings

This isn’t a conclusive list so it’s really important to check the ingredients of any new foods before you purchase them.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Mustard Allergy?

In most cases, the symptoms of a mustard allergy will happen very quickly. Some of the more common symptoms include:

  • Itching on tingling in the mouth
  • Swelling in the throat, mouth or face
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hives – a raised itchy red rash
  • Feeling light-headed or dizzy
  • Diarrhoea, nausea, stomach cramps or vomiting

In the more serious cases an allergic reaction caused by mustard allergy can lead to anaphylaxis, which could prove fatal.

Anaphylactic Reactions Caused By Mustard Allergy

In the most severe cases of an allergic reaction to mustard, the sufferer could have go into anaphylactic shock. This is extremely serious and should be treated as a medical emergency.

The initial phase of anaphylaxis are the same as those listed in the previous section. However, this would typically be followed by other symptoms including:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Tightness of the chest
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • Feeling faint or dizzy
  • Collapsing or fainting

NHS advice on what to do if somebody suffers anaphylactic shock includes:

  • Using an epi-pen (adrenaline auto injector) if the sufferer has one. You should ensure you know how to use it correctly first though
  • Call for an ambulance immediately. Don’t be put off from doing so even if they seem to be improving
  • Lie the patient flat on the ground (but not if they’re struggling to breath, unconscious or pregnant)
  • If there’s another epi-pen available, give another injection after 5 to 15 minutes if their symptoms don’t seem to be improving

Causes Of Allergic Reactions To Mustard And Mustard Seeds

An allergic reaction to mustard is one of the most common spice allergies and there are two main allergens. In yellow mustard it is  ‘Sin a 1’ whereas in brown mustard it is ‘Bra j 1’.  In both,the enzymes present don’t break down even when the mustard is cooked in food at high temperatures.

Anybody who suffers from a mustard allergy will also be allergic to rapeseed. It’s also possible that they could suffer from allergies to the brassica family of plants. These include turnips, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, canola and Brussel sprouts.

Retailers And Restaurants Duty Of Care To Display Allergy Warnings

Any retailer, restaurant, cafe, bar or other establishment serving food has a duty of care towards their customer’s well-being. There are a number of rules regarding allergens that must be adhered to. If they are not and a customer suffers an allergic reaction, the person who has the allergic reaction may be entitled to claim compensation for their suffering from the party responsible.

The rules apply to 14 different allergens. These are celery, gluten cereals, crustaceans, fish, eggs, milk, lupin, molluscs, peanuts, tree nuts, soybeans, sesame seeds, sulphites (and sulphur dioxide) as well as mustard.

For prepacked food, any of the 14 allergens should be clearly listed in the ingredients on the packaging. This should be done in bold, coloured or underlined font where possible to make it easier to spot.

When you’re in a restaurant, allergen advice must be available in writing. This could be indicated on the menu where full allergen advice is provided for each meal. Alternatively, a sign in the restaurant should indicate where you can find the information.

In some cases, where cross contamination could occur, labelling can include the phrase ‘may contain’. For instance, if a meal doesn’t contain mustard but is prepared in an area where mustard has been used recently, the menu could state ‘may contain mustard’ or ‘not suitable for those with a mustard allergy’.

If the food labelling rules are broken, and you suffer an allergic reaction, we could help you make a claim. Please get in touch with an adviser today to discuss your options.

Mustard Allergy Compensation Claims Calculator

It’s very difficult to provide estimated compensation amounts for individual claim because every case is unique, and claimants suffer in different ways. However, the personal injury claims compensation table below provides some examples of compensation awarded for different types of suffering caused by a mustard allergy.

Claim TypeRange of CompensationFurther details
Non Traumatic Injury£860 to £3,710A reaction that leads to pain, stomach cramps and diarrhoea. Their symptoms will last between three days and a few weeks.
Non Traumatic Injury£3,710 to £8,950The allergic reactions in this bracket will produce symptoms for about 1 to 2 weeks. Hospitalisation will be for a few days but the claimant will take around 1 to 2 years to fully recover.
Non Traumatic Injury£8,950 to £18,020This bracket is for serious but short lived allergic reactions. Symptoms will last for around 2 to 4 weeks and there will be some ongoing discomfort for a couple of years.
Non Traumatic Injury£36,060 to £49,270In this bracket, hospitlisation is required over a number of days or weeks. There will be a significant impact on the ability to work and enjoyment of life.
Lost Income / Future Loss Of EarningsUp to £500,000 +The amount of compensation awarded will depend on how old the claimant is, their salary, job prospects and whether they're able to carry out alternative work.

The figures in the table come from a legal guide called the Judicial College Guidelines which is used by solicitors, insurers and also courts to determine compensation that could be awarded in a personal injury claim. It’s important to note that these figures are just one part of your claim known as general damages.

The amount of compensation varies depending on the level of suffering  endured. Therefore, it’s important that your solicitor provides sufficient medical evidence to substantiate your claim. Our panel of solicitors use independent doctors’ reports to show what injuries you suffered, what impact they had on you, and whether there are any longer lasting effects. This report is then used as evidence to ensure you’re compensated an acceptable amount.

Other evidence required to support your claim include:

  • Food packaging – it’s important to photograph or retain the original packing to show an allergen was missing
  • Photographs of menus
  • Food samples – if possible, keep a sample of food in a sealed container for testing
  • Witness statements – if anybody heard you discuss your allergy with staff, you could use statements from them to help prove your claim
  • Medical records – which will show how you suffered and what treatment was performed
  • Accident reports – businesses must log any incident reported to them. Therefore, these could used to prove dates, times and what happened

Costs And Losses Which May Be Included In An Allergic Reaction Claim

When your solicitor claims compensation on your behalf, they can claim for special damages and general damages. The latter is the compensation awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity. The figures in the compensation table in the previous section were for general damages.

Special damages are paid to compensate you for financial losses incurred by your allergic reaction. There are many different elements in special damages. These include:

  • Care costs
    If you need to be supported when you’re recovering from your reaction, then you could claim back any associated costs. This could be for a professional carer’s fees or the time of a friend who looked after you
  • Medical expenses
    If you have to pay for prescriptions, over the counter medicines or other treatments not provided by the NHS, you could include the costs in your claim
  • Travelling costs
    The cost of car parking and fuel costs associated with medical appointments could be claimed back. Also, if you aren’t able to drive while recovering, you could ask for the cost of alternative travel arrangements to be included
  • Lost earnings
    While you’re recovering, if you lose any income because you are off work, you could ask for it to be included in the claim. This could also be due to medical appointments
  • Future lost income
    In more severe cases, should your ability to work in the long-term be affected, then you could claim for future lost earnings too

To claim back special damages, you’ll need to supply evidence of your spending. This could be in the form of receipts or wage slips for lost income claims. It’s a good idea to keep a record of your spending to justify costs incurred.

How To Claim Compensation For An Allergic Reaction To Mustard

If you are thinking of making a claim for negligence which caused a reaction to your mustard allergy, here are some reasons why you should consider contacting Legal Helpline:

  • Our advisers offer free legal advice on claiming
  • The claims line is open 24-hours a day, every day. This means you can begin when it’s most convenient
  • Some of the solicitors on our panel have been working on personal injury claims for nearly 30 years
  • Our panel of solicitors always work on a No Win No Fee basis
  • You’ll always be kept up to date as your claim progresses
  • The solicitors on our panel will always ensure you receive as much compensation as possible

If you need to know any more about how we could help you claim, please call the number at the top of the screen.

No Win No Fee Mustard Allergy Reaction Claims

When you decide to make a claim for an allergic reaction to mustard, you might be put off if you believe the cost of hiring a solicitor would be too high. Our panel of solicitors offer a No Win No Fee service for each claim they handle.

Offering a No Win No Fee structure means the financial risk for claimants is greatly reduced which allows more people to claim compensation from responsible parties and the process is a lot less stressful.

A No Win No Fee solicitor will review your claim to ensure it’s got a chance of being won. If they think it has, they’ll provide you with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to sign. This is your legal contract with them. The CFA clearly states that solicitor’s fees are only payable if you receive compensation. It will also explain the success fee payable when the case is won.

A success fee is a percentage of your compensation used to pay the solicitor’s fees. When your claim is settled, the solicitor deducts the success fee before the rest is sent to you.

We can let you know if you’re eligible for a No Win No Fee service when you call and speak with a member of our team.

Talk To The Legal Helpline Team

Thanks for reading our guide about claiming for an allergic reaction to mustard. We hope you’ve found the information useful. We also hope you’ve decided to let Legal Helpline help you begin your claim. If so, here are the best methods of contacting us:

  • You can call our team of specialists on 0161 696 9685 to begin your claim
  • Or, you could ask us to give you a call back at a convenient time. To do so, please complete this form
  • Finally, you can connect with our team through the live chat facility on our web site

To begin your claim, we’ll look at what happened and what evidence you have to support your case against a responsible party. At this point, we could either provide free advice about your claim or we could introduce you to a personal injury lawyer from our panel. If they believe your claim is valid and agree to take it on, it will be on a No Win No Fee basis.

We won’t put any pressure on you when you call, and you’ll be under no obligation to proceed. Therefore, why not call us today for free advice and to see if you have the chance to receive compensation?

Supporting Resources

Now that you’ve reached the end of our guide about claiming for negligence that led to a reaction to your mustard allergy, we’ve decided to provide links to some of our other guides.

Dairy Allergy Claims – Information on when it might be possible to make a personal injury claim for an allergic reaction to dairy products.

Nut Allergy Claims – This guide looks at when you could use a personal injury solicitor to claim for an allergic reaction to nuts.

Gluten Allergy Claims – Finally, a guide to making personal injury claims because you suffered an allergic reaction to gluten.

Allergy Resources

Finally, here are some related guides and advice from external sources:

Allergy Information – Information from the NHS on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of food allergies.

Food Labelling – Information on the types of food allergens that should be highlighted, and the labelling required.

Food Intolerance – This NHS article looks at how food intolerance is different to an allergic reaction.

If you require any further information or guidance, please get in touch with an adviser on the number above. We’ll happily answer any questions you might have.

Article by BH

Editor HW