If you’re a fan of spaghetti, meatballs or pizza, you’ll probably love taking a trip to your local Italian restaurant. If you suffer from an allergy though, you might worry about the ingredients contained within your meal, especially if the restaurant is new to you. To make life easier for allergy sufferers, legislation exists which puts a duty of care on catering businesses to display the 14 main allergens clearly or provide you with information where allergen clarification can be found. In this guide, we’re going to look at claiming for an Italian restaurant allergic reaction. Effectively this means claiming because you suffered an allergic reaction at a restaurant due to their breach in the duty of care and their negligence. We’ll investigate what the rules for food businesses are, when their negligence could make them liable for a reaction and when you might be allowed to pursue a compensation claim.
To support any claim, Legal Helpline provides a no-obligation telephone consultation. The advisor will note down what happened, how you suffered and review your evidence. If your claim has strong grounds, they could refer you to one of the specialist solicitors from our panel. To remove a lot of the stress that often accompanies a claim, they’ll conduct your case on a No Win No Fee basis if it’s taken on.
Contact Legal Helpline on 0161 696 9685 today if you’re ready to start your claim. Otherwise, please continue reading to find out more about claims for an allergic reaction at an Italian restaurant.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Claiming For An Allergic Reaction At An Italian Restaurant
- What Are Allergic Reactions At An Italian Restaurant?
- Customer Rights And Restaurants Liability
- Top Italian Chains, Restaurants And Dishes In The UK
- How To Notify Restaurants You May Have An Allergy
- Requesting Allergens Not Be Included In Your Food
- How Prevalent Are Food Allergies?
- Examples Of Common Food Allergies Which You Could Have
- Calculating Compensation For An Allergic Reaction
- No Win No Fee Claims For An Italian Restaurant Allergic Reaction
- We Are Here To Help
- Guidance And References
A Guide To Claiming For An Allergic Reaction At An Italian Restaurant
When we are talking about allergic reactions and Italian food it is important to say that allergy sufferers will not be allergic to the food in particular but the ingredients that may be present within certain dishes. For instance, you might suffer from an egg allergy meaning you may not be able to eat pasta, a milk allergy meaning you may not be able to eat garlic bread.
This guide will look at what happens when a restaurant doesn’t follow the rules regarding food labelling and cause a customer to have an allergic reaction. As you can imagine, proving what went wrong might be a complex task. Therefore, we’d advise you to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Although by law you are not required to have a solicitor represent your case.
The sooner you start your claim the better because it’s much easier to remember what caused your reaction in the days following the illness. There’s also a personal injury claims time limit to consider. While this is a 3-year period which usually starts on the day the incident happened, which seems like a long-time, leaving your claim until later on can make it difficult for your solicitor to complete all of the tasks they’re required to in time.
We can connect you with a specialist personal injury solicitor from our panel to help with your claim. Therefore, once you’ve completed our article on claiming for an allergic reaction in an Italian restaurant, please contact us to start your claim.
According to food allergy guidance from the NHS, allergic reactions happen when your immune system mistakenly identifies particular ingredients as being dangerous. When that happens, antibodies are released which try to protect you. The antibodies are what leads to the symptoms of an allergic reaction. In some cases, the reaction will happen almost immediately, while some might take up to 48 hours to present.
The most common symptoms include:
- Wheezing or shortness of breath.
- Swelling in the mouth, eyes and face.
- Itching and tingling in the mouth.
- Struggling to swallow.
- An itchy red rash known as hives.
As allergic reactions can cause fatalities, all food businesses have a legal duty of care to protect their customers. We’ll look at how they should do this as we proceed.
Symptoms Of Having Anaphylaxis
The most severe case of an allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. If it’s not treated fast enough, then it can become life-threatening and fatal in some circumstances.
The main symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
- A tight chest.
- A swollen tongue.
- The victim collapsing.
- Feeling faint or dizzy.
- Trouble speaking coherently.
- Trouble swallowing.
- Breathing difficulties.
If you suspect somebody is having an anaphylactic shock, you should call the emergency services immediately. If you’ve been the victim of anaphylaxis, or a loved one has died following an allergic reaction, Legal Helpline could help you assess whether or not it was caused through negligence of a third party that owed a duty of care. Please get in touch and let us know what happened. If you find it difficult to talk about what happened over the phone, you can speak with an advisor on our live chat channel.
Customer Rights And Restaurants Liability
Restaurants have a legal duty of care to provide food that is safe and as described. If it’s not, and a customer becomes ill as a result of eating the food, a restaurant could be found to be in breach of certain laws.
There are many pieces of legislation which restaurants must adhere to including:
Allergy Information Which Should Be Provided To Customers
Catering businesses are obliged, by law, to display information relating to 14 allergens for their customers. Even though there are other types of food allergens, the law dictates that only 14 allergens need to be declared. These are eggs, fish, cereals (containing gluten), crustaceans, milk, lupin, sesame, sulphites, celery, sulphur dioxide, tree nuts, soybeans, peanuts and mustard.
In restaurants, there are a number of ways to advertise the presence of an allergen:
- By displaying signs in a prominent area that explain where allergen information can be found.
- Listing each allergen on the menu alongside the meal that contains them.
- By staff providing advice on allergens when asked.
Top Italian Chains And Restaurants In The UK
For your information, we’ve listed Italian restaurants in the UK below.
- Bella Italia
- Pizza Express
- Pizza Hut
- Wildwood Restaurants
- Villagio Restaurants
- Fire & Stone Restaurants
Popular Italian Restaurant Dishes
And here is a list of some of the most popular Italian dishes eaten at restaurants in the UK.
- Spaghetti Bolognese
- Margherita Pizza
- Caprese Salad
- Pepperoni Pizza
- Pappardelle Con Funghi
- Pasta Al Salmone
How To Notify Restaurants You May Have An Allergy
You might consider it to be important to tell an Italian restaurant of any allergy you suffer from. It’s quite a good idea to do so and the easiest way is to let the waiting staff know or even tell the member of staff when you make your booking with.
If you forget to do so though or choose not to, you might still be allowed to seek compensation if you suffer an allergic reaction in an Italian restaurant if it can be proven that the restaurant acted negligently. The duty of care is on the restaurant owners to ensure that they present you with the allergen information one way or another.
If you’ve suffered a reaction but failed to tell the staff beforehand about your allergy, don’t be afraid to discuss your claim with us. We’ll take a look at the evidence you can supply and let you know whether you can claim.
Requesting Allergens Not Be Included In Your Food
When you visit an Italian restaurant, you’re perfectly entitled to ask waiting staff for a certain ingredient to be left out of your meal. That’s the case whether you don’t like the taste or because you’re worried it will trigger an allergic reaction.
It’s perfectly possible that, after checking with the chef, that your request will be rejected, and you’ll need to choose another menu item.
You may wish to request:
- No Eggs
- No Shellfish
- No Nuts
- No Cheese
- No Oats
- No Wheat
- No Milk
- No Fish
Effects Of Ingesting Allergens In A Restaurant Or Takeaway
If you’ve asked for any of the items listed above to be removed from your purchase, and the restaurant has agreed to fulfil your order, you could go on to seek compensation if you had an allergic reaction because it wasn’t removed completely.
A common type of allergic reaction is where your body releases an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). After eating certain allergens, you could suffer from a:
- IgE mediated allergy which usually occurs within minutes of ingestion.
- Non-IgE mediated allergy which can take up to 48-hours for symptoms to become apparent.
- Mixed IgE and non-IgE mediated allergy.
In order to make any allergic reaction claim against a potentially responsible party, you must prove using evidence that the third party firstly owed you a duty of care in which they negligently breached that directly caused you to suffer unnecessarily.
How Prevalent Are Food Allergies?
Statistics from Allergy UK show some alarming facts surrounding the number of people who have to manage allergies. While these figures do include some non-food allergies, the numbers are still staggering:
- In the year ending February 2014, 19.2% of emergency hospitalisations were for anaphylactic reactions.
- In total, 44% of adults in Britain are affected by an allergy with around 48% of those suffering from multiple allergies.
- Around a third of sufferers have had to make changes to their lifestyles to deal with their allergy.
- Around £900 million is spent by the NHS each year dealing with allergies. Primarily, this is the cost of prescription medications.
Examples Of Common Food Allergies Which You Could Have
While it’s quite common to hear about common allergies in the news, there are more allergens than you might be aware of. Therefore, we’ve supplied a list of different food allergens below:
- Celery allergy
- Milk allergy
- Lupin allergy
- Gluten allergy
- Egg allergy
- Wheat allergy
- Shellfish allergy
- Fruit allergy
- Fish allergy
- Dairy allergy
- Seafood allergy
- Mustard allergy
- Nut allergy
- Soy allergy
- Sulphur dioxide allergy
- Cereal allergy
Calculating Compensation For Allergic Reaction
As we’ve indicated already, you could seek compensation following allergic reaction if it can be proven that the reaction happened due to a breach in food safety laws, but how much could you claim? Every time we’re asked that we have to point out that each and every claim is different. That’s why we don’t use the sometimes-confusing personal injury compensation calculators you may have heard of. Instead, we like to show you figures from the Judicial College (JC) in the table below. The JC maintain a useful document that lawyers use to try and work out settlement figures.
|Injury or Illness||Compensation Range||Comments|
|Severe Reaction||£36,060 to £49,270||Typically this type of reaction will cause a few weeks in hospital and cause a long-term effect on the claimant's ability to work and enjoy life.|
|Serious Reaction||£8,950 to £18,020||The symptoms in this range are serious but relatively short-lived (2-4 weeks generally). There may be some ongoing discomfort which lasts for up to two years.|
|Allergic Reaction||£3,710 to £8,950||Typically this type of reaction will lead to a few days hospitalisation. The main symptoms will reduce over the coming weeks but complete recovery can take 1 to 2 years.|
|Minor Reaction||£860 to £3,710||A rection where symptoms only last a matter of days or weeks.|
An important part of any claim is a medical report from a specialist which shows the injuries you sustained, the impact caused and if any symptoms are still ongoing. Therefore, during the claim, your solicitor will book a local appointment for a medical assessment. Following that, a report will be sent to your solicitor containing the details listed above.
Seeking Additional Compensation Through Special Damages
What you might know about personal injury claims is that as well as receiving compensation for your pain and suffering (see the figures from the previous section for examples of this), you can also ask for any costs you’ve had to pay out to be repaid.
This is called a special damages claim and the amounts paid will vary from case to case. What you’ll need to do is hold on to any receipts, benefits statements, bank statements or wage slips which can be used to prove the extent of your losses.
Special Damages You Could Claim
- Travelling Costs.
Should the allergic reaction you suffered mean you’re unable to drive as normal for a while, then you could make a claim for the cost of any alternative arrangements you had to make. Furthermore, it’s possible to ask for parking and fuel costs to be paid that are linked to medical appointments.
- Lost Income.
Should you require some time away from work while you’re getting over your allergic reaction, you might be able to claim for lost income if your employer only pays Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
- Medical Expenses.
It’s quite common to incur costs related to over the counter treatments or prescription medicines while you’re recuperating. In some cases, you may also need treatment that’s not possible on the NHS. In these cases, you could ask for any medical costs to be reimbursed.
- Care Costs.
There’s a chance that you’ll need to be looked after following an allergic reaction for days or maybe weeks. Care isn’t free and it could leave you out of pocket if you pay for a professional carer. You could therefore claim their fees back. Alternatively, an hourly rate might be calculated to cover the time a friend supported you.
- Future Lost Earnings.
This type of claim is rarer but, if a long-term symptom of your reaction means you’re not able to work in the same way as before, you could request to be paid for future lost income.
No Win No Fee Claims For An Italian Restaurant Allergic Reaction
Our panel of solicitors aims to remove any barriers to claiming by offering a No Win No Fee service for all claims they take on. They know that removing as much financial risk from the claim will make the process a lot less stressful and enable more people to seek compensation.
Before they agree to represent you, a solicitor from our panel will need to check that your claim has grounds for success. If it does, and you’re willing to proceed, a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) will be sent to you. This is the No Win No Fee agreement between you and your solicitor which will fund your case.
Using a CFA offers a number of key benefits including:
- You won’t be expected to pay any upfront charges which means your allergic reaction claim can start right away.
- There will be no solicitor’s fees charged while the claim is being processed.
- You won’t have to cover the solicitor’s fees if the claim is unsuccessful.
In the event that the solicitor goes on to win compensation for you, they’ll hold on to a small percentage as a ‘success fee’. This fee is listed in the CFA (so there are no surprises at the end of a claim) and is used to cover the solicitor’s time and costs. At this point, it’s important to state that success fees are legally capped.
We Are Here To Help
Legal Helpline would like to you support you if you’re considering claiming for an allergic reaction in an Italian restaurant. Hopefully, you’ll now understand whether you have a valid claim and are ready to begin. If that’s the case, please use one of the following methods to get in touch:
- Call our claims line on 0161 696 9685 for specialist advice on how to proceed.
- Send an email detailing your allergic reaction to [email protected].
- Make use of our live chat option and discuss your claim online.
- Ask us to call you at a suitable time by completing our online claims form.
To make claiming easier, you can contact us 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. An advisor will begin by noting down what happened leading up to your allergic reaction. They’ll go through any evidence with you and discuss what symptoms you suffered because of your reaction. Then they’ll connect you with one of our panel of specialist solicitors if your claim has strong enough merit. The solicitor will carry out any work using a No Win No Fee service if they agree to take the claim forwards.
Guidance And References
This is the last part of the article about claiming for an allergic reaction in an Italian restaurant. Thanks for taking the time to review it and we hope it has helped you decide whether you’ve got a valid claim or not. To provide a little more support, we’ve linked to further resources and guides you might find useful.
Shellfish Allergy Guides – If you’ve suffered because of a shellfish allergy in an Italian restaurant, you should find this guide helpful.
Gluten Allergies – This guide can help you decide if it’s possible after suffering an allergic reaction to gluten.
Chinese Restaurant Claims – A guide similar to this one but pertaining to allergic reactions in Chinese restaurants.
Food Product Recalls – This handy tool keeps you up to date with food recalls which can happen if a product contains an unadvertised allergen.
Treating An Allergic Reaction – NHS advice on what to do to prevent or treat an allergic reaction.
Coronavirus And Allergy FAQ – Advice from Allergy UK on questions you may have relating to allergies in relation to COVID-19.
Guide by BE