What Are Your Rights After An Allergic Reaction At A Restaurant?

By Stephen Moreau. Last Updated 29th February 2024. If you experience an allergic reaction at a restaurant through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to compensation. People have to be careful about what they eat and drink if they have allergies. Even when cautious though, they can be caught out by something they ordered at a restaurant, cafe or food retailer.

A waiter in a restaurant receives orders from customers at a table

Food businesses have to take reasonable steps to ensure their food and drink does not trigger an allergic reaction in certain people. If it happens, it could be determined that the food provider acted negligently. This can happen whether the food was purchased in person or through a delivery service.

In this guide, we cover what rights you have regarding food safety. We also look at the steps you should follow if you wish to claim for a food allergy reaction you suffered. If you’ve recently suffered an allergic reaction to something you’ve bought, you should look at whether you can put in a successful compensation claim with a personal injury solicitor. 

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Here at UK Law, we can offer you specialist advice and support on personal injury claims. Our panel of lawyers can help if you have questions about food allergy claims. You’re more than welcome to contact us for free advice online or by phone.

You’re more than welcome to contact us for free advice online or by phone. You can reach us through our online contact form or by using our online chat function. If you want to speak to us on the phone, you can call 020 3870 4868

Services And Information

  1. What Are Your Rights After An Allergic Reaction At A Restaurant?
  2. Allergic Reaction Settlement Examples
  3. How Much Time Do I Have To Claim For An Allergic Reaction In A Restaurant?
  4. Do You Handle Allergic Reaction At A Restaurant Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  5. Useful Information On Your Rights After An Allergic Reaction At A Restaurant?

What Are Your Rights After An Allergic Reaction At A Restaurant?

Legislation, including the Food Safety Act 1990 and The Food Information Regulations 2014, sets out that food businesses should provide access to allergen information in writing if they sell or provide food to customers directly. They can achieve this by providing a full allergen menu or a written notice that clearly explains how customers can obtain allergen information.

If you suffer an allergic reaction at a restaurant, then you may have grounds to claim against it if you can prove that the incident happened because the restaurant failed to take necessary steps to provide you with allergen information

For more advice about your rights and eligibility to claim after suffering an allergic reaction while in a restaurant, contact our team of advisors for free today.

Allergic Reaction Settlement Examples

Compensation in food allergy claims is determined by the harm that was caused to a person due to the allergic reaction.

Any compensation you claim for pain and suffering is known as general damages. The table below shows what your allergic reaction settlement could potentially look like. The figures shown are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines, which is used by legal professionals to help value claims. Note that the first entry in the table below is an estimated figure for multiple injuries and is not based on the Judicial College Guidelines.

Type Of Injury Notes Compensation
Multiple Serious Injuries With Special Damages If an allergic reaction at a restaurant has led you to suffer multiple serious injuries, then you may receive compensation for all of these plus related special damages, such as loss of earnings. Up to £500,000+
Kidney (a) Loss of both kidneys or serious and permanent damage to both. £169,400 to £210,400
Kidney (b) Total loss of natural kidney function or there is significant risk of future urinary tract infection. Up to £63,980
Kidney (c) Loss of one kidney. The other kidney is undamaged. £30,770 to £44,880
Digestive System (b)(i) Acute pain, diarrhoea, vomiting and a fever caused by severe toxicosis. The person may also have to be admitted to hospital for a few weeks. £38,430 to £52,500
Digestive System (b)(ii) For 2-4 weeks the person will suffer with vomiting and diarrhoea. After this point they will still suffer with some discomfort and disturbed bowel function. £9,540 to £19,200
Psychiatric Damage Generally – Moderately Severe The person will suffer with serious problems, such as their ability to cope with daily life, but the prognosis will be optimistic. £19,070 to £54,830
Psychiatric Damage Generally – Moderate Despite suffering with various issues, the person will have made marked improvements and there will be a positive prognosis. £5,860 to £19,070
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Moderate The person will have made a large recovery and any persisting effects won’t be greatly disabling. £8,180 to £23,150

Any compensation you claim for suffering from financial losses is known as special damages. For example, you could seek compensation for medical treatment costs, loss of income or any other losses that were caused by the injuries you suffered. Evidence, such as receipts, will be necessary.

If you would like to learn more about how to claim for an allergic reaction after eating food, or the compensation amount you could receive, please reach out to one of our advisers.

How Much Time Do I Have To Claim For An Allergic Reaction In An Restaurant?

If you’re considering claiming compensation after an allergic reaction at a restaurant, you may wonder how much time you have. We always recommend that you start a personal injury claim as soon as possible when you want to pursue one. This gives you the maximum chance of getting all available evidence and presenting the case to the defendant accurately, as it will be fresh in your mind.

Normally, the time limit for claiming against a restaurant for a food allergy is three years from the day the allergic reaction occurred. Three years may sound like a long time, but starting claims for a food allergy can be complex. Depending on the circumstances, it may take a while to gather sufficient evidence to prove that negligence from a restaurant caused a food allergy.

How the time limit could change

There are certain circumstances where the three-year time limit works differently. If someone under the age of 18 suffers an allergic reaction in a restaurant, then the time limit is temporarily frozen for them. The three-year time limit only begins when the potential claimant reaches their 18th birthday. 

Therefore, you can not make a personal injury claim yourself if you are under the age of 18. However, a claim can be started by a chosen representative on behalf of someone else before they reach 18. This chosen representative is known as a litigation friend. A parent or guardian are examples of someone who can claim as a litigation friend.

Another way the three-year time limit for claiming may be frozen is if someone lacks the mental capacity to claim on their own behalf. In severe food allergy cases, the injured person may need time to recover before they can reasonably be expected to start a claim. 

When they have sufficiently recovered, the time limit starts on the day that is determined to have happened. Alternatively, a litigation friend could start a claim on behalf of someone who has suffered a food allergy before they’ve regained their mental capacity to start it on their own.

Do You Handle Allergic Reaction At A Restaurant Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis?

If you contact our advisors about your potential claim for an allergic reaction at a restaurant, then they could review it and determine if you have a strong case. If you have a valid claim, they could connect you with one of the No Win No Fee solicitors on our panel.

The solicitors on our panel can support allergic reaction claims under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a type of No Win No Fee agreement. Some of the benefits this agreement brings include not needing to pay your solicitor either upfront or during the process of your claim for their legal services. Also, if your claim goes ahead but is unsuccessful, then you still won’t need to pay your solicitor for their work.

If your claim is successful, then your No Win No Fee solicitor usually takes a small percentage of the compensation awarded to you. This is commonly called a success fee.

To learn more about how claiming for an allergic reaction with a No Win No Fee solicitor works, please contact our advisors for free. To reach our team, you can:

Useful Information On Your Rights After An Allergic Reaction At A Restaurant?

Looking for more information on common food allergies and related laws for restaurants? The resources below provide more useful details on these subject matters.

NHS Guide to food allergies

This NHS page provides detailed insight into food allergies. You can learn all you need to know about the causes, symptoms and treatments for this condition.

Technical guidance on food allergen labelling

This page on the Food Standards Agency website gives you access to technical guidance which restaurants and other food businesses in the UK must follow in regards to labelling and info requirements.

Food Standards Agency’s Guide to 14 Allergens

This PDF guide created by the Food Standards Agency details the 14 major allergens. These major allergens must be clearly indicated to customers if they are present in the food and drink which they sell. The guide lists examples of popular foods and drinks which often have each major allergen.

Our Guide to Personal Injury Compensation

Head here to learn more about claiming compensation for personal injury.

How To Make Food Allergy Claims

Another of our guides on making food allergy claims

Slip, Trip and Fall Claims

If you’ve tripped over in a restaurant, this guide will help.

Other Useful Guides

Thank you for reading our guide on your rights if you have an allergic reaction at a restaurant.