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Allergic Reaction at Fast Food Chain Leads to Death

Posted on in Food poisoning attorney
Allergic Reaction at Fast Food Chain Leads to Death

Being exposed to a foodborne pathogen can have serious consequences, some of which many people are familiar with. Many people have suffered food poisoning and the gastrointestinal discomfort that comes along with it. Similarly, those with food allergies are likely all too familiar with the effects of being exposed to a food that is dangerous for them to eat. But while food poisoning and the side effects of food allergies may be somewhat familiar for a large number of people, death from food poisoning or a food allergy certainly is not.

Tragically, a person died after having an allergic reaction to an item served by the food chain Pret a Manger; the connection between the food and the death has recently been confirmed. The death is the second associated with the company.

Death After Allergic Reaction

According to a news report published in CNN, the customer died from an allergic reaction after eating a “super-veg rainbow flatbread.” The item contained a yogurt sauce that was labeled as dairy-free. However, testing of the product, which is manufactured by Coyo, confirmed that it did, in fact, contain a dairy protein.

Sadly, this was not the first death resulting from an allergic reaction to the company's food that Pret a Manger has experienced; in 2016, a 15-year-old girl suffered a fatal allergic reaction while traveling with her father to France. The allergic reaction is believed to have been caused by sesame seeds on a baguette from Pret a Manger.

Any Death is Unacceptable

Not only are the two customer deaths incredibly tragic, they are completely unacceptable, too. The company has decided to implement a food labeling initiative that it hopes will help to protect those with food allergies. Clearly, however, the action is coming too late.

Duty of Food Manufacturers and Food Distributors

Those who produce, manufacturer, and distribute food to customers have a high duty of care. As it pertains to food poisoning, all those involved in the food distribution chain must ensure that all actions they take are reasonable in nature. Typically, this means ensuring equipment is clean, limiting cross-contamination between foods, washing hands before serving, and following other food safety practices. Of course, it also means voluntarily recalling products that are known to be contaminated with a foodborne pathogen.

With food allergies, the duty of care is equally as significant. Food distributors and food preparers must ensure that they take reasonable steps to ensure that someone with a serious food allergy is not harmed. This might include labeling food correctly (i.e. ensuring that something labeled dairy-free is actually dairy-free), preparing food according to a customer's request, and ensuring that a customer with a food allergy is served the correct order (mixing up customers' orders can prove disastrous).

Of course, the customer with the food allergy also has a duty to inform the food distributor of the food allergy; if a harmed customer contributed to his or her own allergic reaction by not doing so, that customer could be barred from compensation when seeking monetary damages.

Our Lawyers at the Offices of Newland & Newland can Help

If you are someone who has suffered a severe reaction as a result of allergy or foodborne illness that you believe resulted from a food manufacturer's or distributor's negligence, our experienced Illinois personal injury lawyers at the law office of Newland and Newland can help. For a free phone consultation, please call our law office today or send us a message directly. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.

(image courtesy of Daria Nepriakhina)

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