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Seeking Compensation After Suffering from an Undeclared Allergen in Food

Posted on in Food Poisoning

Seeking Compensation After Suffering from an Undeclared Allergen in Food

Harmful bacteria is not the only reason that victims become ill after eating certain foods. Sometimes, individuals suffer from allergic reactions from eating specific foods. These reactions can range from fairly benign, like itchy red eyes and a runny nose to anaphylaxis, the intense swelling of the throat, tongue, or other area of the body often accompanied by fever, vomiting, and low blood pressure.

Recently, a Massachusetts family made headlines when they filed a claim against Panera Bread after their allergic daughter was served a grilled cheese sandwich that contained peanut butter. The family allegedly told the cashier at the Panera franchise that their daughter was highly allergic to nuts and that no nut products were to come into contact with her sandwich. The cafe chain stated that the mistake was likely made by an employee with limited English skills who misunderstood the request. Now, the family is seeking compensation, alleging that Panera was negligent by allowing this employee to make the sandwich. Although allergic reactions are not the same as becoming ill with food poisoning, individuals who suffer from reactions because of undeclared allergens in their food, whether the allergen was meant to be there but the food was not labeled correctly or if the allergen somehow contaminated the food, have the right to seek compensation for their damages through food poisoning claims.

What are Allergies?

An allergy is an immune system disorder. When an individual has an allergy, his or her immune system is hypersensitive to a specific stimulus, which can be food or elements in the individual's environment, such as pollen. It is also not uncommon for an individual to have more than one allergy.

Common Food Allergies

An allergy to peanuts is one of the most common types of food allergy. Other common food allergies found in children include the following:

  • Milk;
  • Eggs;
  • Soy;
  • Wheat;
  • Peanuts; and
  • Tree nuts.

Common food allergies found in adults include those listed above as well as allergies to fish and shellfish. Sometimes, individuals develop food allergies later in life. In other cases, individuals are born with food allergies. The only concrete way to determine if you have a food allergy is to work with an allergist who can test how your immune system reacts to certain substances. Allergies can range in severity as well: Some individuals need to consume a food to feel the effects of their allergy while others cannot touch or even be in the same room as the food due to the presence of the allergen particles in the air.

Work with an Experienced Itasca Area Food Poisoning Attorney

If you become ill because of an allergic reaction to a food product that should not have contained the ingredient to which you are sensitive or otherwise did not clarify that the allergen was present, you could have grounds for a personal injury claim. To learn more, schedule your initial legal consultation with a member of our team of experienced food poisoning attorneys in Arlington Heights, Libertyville, Cary, Itasca, and Chicago Newland & Newland, LLP today.

(photo courtesy of K Rosseel)

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