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Protecting Yourself From Food Allergies at Restaurants

 Posted on May 24, 2019 in Food Allergies

Protecting Yourself From Food Allergies at RestaurantsAll restaurant patrons trust the food preparers and servers to provide them with a safe meal. For people with food allergies, a mistake can cause serious or even fatal health consequences. You can receive damages by filing a lawsuit against a restaurant that served you food with an allergen in it. However, it is more difficult to prove liability in a food allergy case than a food poisoning case because the restaurant is not strictly liable for food allergies. As a diner, you share some responsibility for informing the restaurant of your allergy and educating yourself on their food. By communicating your allergy concerns to a restaurant, you are protecting yourself against contaminated food and establishing clear liability if you have an allergic reaction.

Advanced Preparation

When investigating a restaurant, you should learn about the types of ingredients they use and their food preparation methods. Some restaurants may include this information on their website, but you should also contact the restaurant in case the information on the website is out-of-date. When in contact with the restaurant, you should ask:

  • For a current list of ingredients used in their dishes;
  • What steps the kitchen staff takes to prevent cross-contamination with food allergies;
  • How often the staff is trained in dealing with food allergies; and
  • Whether a manager trained in food allergen safety is always present at the restaurant.

If a restaurant cannot or will not answer these questions, it may not be safe to dine at that restaurant.

At the Restaurant

When you arrive for your meal, you should tell your server about your food allergies and the need to keep your food separate from other dishes with those allergens. You should ask again whether the food you are ordering contains any allergens. Tell the server to check with the chef on the ingredients. Some restaurants will experiment with new ingredients in their food or may not consider the ingredients in processed foods.

Contact a Chicago Food Allergy Attorney

A restaurant is not liable for serving you a meal with an allergen in it if it does not know about your allergy. Once you have established awareness, the restaurant becomes responsible for accurately informing you of any allergens in its food and for preparing your meal in a safe manner. An Arlington Heights, Illinois, food allergy lawyer at Newland & Newland, LLP, can help you receive compensation if a restaurant serves you contaminated food despite your warnings. Schedule a consultation by calling 312-981-0409. 


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