What Are Your Rights After An Allergic Reaction At Caffé Nero?

If you suffer an allergic reaction at Caffé Nero, you could experience a number of symptoms. If you have a known food allergy and have informed the cafe of your allergies, or have checked the Caffé Nero allergy menu to see what you could safely consume, you would be taking steps to avoid having a reaction.

But what if something goes wrong when you eat out? What if serving staff make up your food or drink containing an allergen they’ve informed you weren’t in the products? What if a restaurant allergy menu is inaccurate, or pre-packaged foods don’t list allergens that are in them?

If you have an allergic reaction due to such issues, could you claim allergic reaction compensation? We have created this guide to answer these questions, so you can find out whether you may be able to make a claim.

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Allergic Reaction At Caffé Nero?

What Are Your Rights After An Allergic Reaction At Caffé Nero?

While we aim to provide you with lots of useful information about making a claim, you might also want to get advice from one of our expert advisors.

Here at UK Law, we could provide you with answers to any questions you might have about your claim. We could assess your eligibility to claim after you suffered an allergic reaction because of someone else’s negligence.

In addition to this, if you have evidence of a valid claim, we could connect you with our panel of lawyers. They could assist with your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. To reach our team, simply call 020 3870 4868.

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Everything You Need To Know About Your Rights After An Allergic Reaction At Caffé Nero

If you’ve had an allergic reaction at a cafe, whether you suffer from nut allergies or any other type of allergy, you might think it’s just an accident and you would not be able to take action against a café.

But what if you had an allergic reaction because of their negligence? Perhaps their allergen menu was incorrect. Or, perhaps after telling you they would comply with your request to leave something out of your food, they failed to.

Maybe you purchased pre-packaged food from a café and allergens were not listed in the ingredients. Although some food businesses are not always required to supply such information on their prepackaged food. However, this is set to change with the introduction of Natasha’s Law.

This guide talks you through what you may need to know when claiming compensation for an allergic reaction. We discuss the reasons you could have a reaction, and the symptoms you could suffer.

We also offer insight into laws that could allow you to make a claim against a restaurant for your allergic reaction.

In the later sections, you can find insight into how lawyers determine settlements, as well as how we could help you start your claim.

What Is An Allergic Reaction At Caffé Nero?

Lots of people in the UK suffer from allergies, and many require hospital treatment. According to the NHS, the number of people admitted to hospital in 2017/18 with a primary diagnosis of allergies was 28,017. You can see how this compares to other years in the graph below.

Number of Admissions with Primary Diagnosis of Allergies
While some of these admissions could relate to allergic reactions to pets or other causes, some could relate to food allergies.

What Are Food Allergy Reactions In Cafés?

If you know you have a food allergy, you would likely try to avoid consuming something that you know would cause an allergic reaction. When visiting cafes, you could check the allergen menu, or ask the staff for advice on what you could safely consume.

When it comes to purchasing pre-packaged items, you could check the ingredient list to make sure it doesn’t contain allergens you’d react to. But what happens if you get the wrong information from staff, or the allergy menu or packaging is incorrect?

Could you then suffer an allergic reaction that was not your fault? And therefore, could you be eligible to claim compensation for it?

What Could Trigger An Allergic Reaction In A Café?

Food allergies are triggered when the body’s immune system sees something you consume as a threat. The immune system response to that threat can result in an allergic reaction.

There are lots of foods that could trigger an allergic reaction. Many of them can be present in the food served in cafes. Some of the most common allergies include:

  • Egg allergy
  • Nut allergy
  • Dairy allergy
  • Fish allergy
  • Milk allergy
  • Soy allergy
  • Mustard allergy
  • Cereal allergy
  • Seafood allergy
  • Lupin allergy
  • Sulphur dioxide allergy
  • Wheat allergy
  • Fruit allergy
  • Gluten allergy
  • Celery allergy
  • Shellfish allergy

However, you could be allergic to something else entirely. If you know you have an allergy, you could attempt to avoid a reaction by asking staff what could be safe to eat. Even if the staff member is unsure of what food contains allergens, they should direct you to the appropriate place to find the cafe’s allergen information.

In some cases, you might ask them to leave out an ingredient when making your food and drink. They aren’t obliged to comply with your request, but they may be able to offer you an alternative if they can’t remove the ingredient. However, again, they’re not obligated to do so.

If you’re buying pre-packaged foods, you could check the ingredient list. Or, you could look at the allergy menu so you know what could be safe to order. Should the allergy information you receive from the cafe be incorrect, you may unknowingly consume food that could trigger an allergic reaction.

Additionally, if a cafe doesn’t give notice anywhere of the possibility of cross-contamination, but conditions in the kitchen mean that it is likely to happen, you may unknowingly consume an allergen due to cross-contamination.

Or, if the staff fail to tell you they haven’t left out an allergen as they’d previously agreed they would, you could suffer a reaction.

Symptoms Of Having An Allergic Reaction To Food

There are lots of different symptoms you could experience from an allergic reaction at Caffé Nero.

  • An IgE-mediated reaction. If you suffer this type of allergic reaction, symptoms may begin seconds or minutes after consuming an allergen. These are the most common types of food allergy reactions. Symptoms could include hives; itchy tongue; swelling of the tongue, mouth or face; a wheeze or cough; red, itchy eyes; nasal congestion; faintness/dizziness and stomach problems such as nausea; diarrhoea or vomiting.
  • A non-IgE-mediated reaction. Symptoms of this allergic reaction could present some time after you consume an allergen. In some cases, it could take days for a reaction to become apparent. Symptoms could include dry, itchy skin; abdominal discomfort; constipation and vomiting.
  • You could also have a mixed IgE and Non-IgE reaction.
  • Oral Allergy Syndrome. Your immune system may not be able to tell the difference between pollen and proteins. This could cause itchiness and mild swelling in the throat and mouth.
  • Anaphylaxis. The most serious of reactions is called anaphylaxis. If someone suffers such a reaction, this could be a medical emergency. Symptoms of such a reaction include loss of consciousness; difficulty breathing and talking; wheeziness; a rapid heartbeat and clamminess. It is vital that those suffering an anaphylactic reaction get urgent medical treatment, as such reactions could be fatal.

Do I Have The Right To Be Told About Allergens?

There are allergen labelling laws that require you to be informed about 14 specific allergens, which we reveal in the next section. In terms of how you should be told about allergens, the following could apply.

  • Pre-packaged foods: The 14 specified allergens could be emphasised in a way that distinguishes them from other ingredients. This could mean they are in bold font, or a different style or have a highlighting background colour. ‘Natasha’s Law‘ which does not come into practice until October 2021, means that pre-packaged foods that are made and sold onsite must have a full list of ingredients, which includes allergens.
  • For non-pre-packaged foods, sellers must ensure they provide certain allergen information. They must clearly signpost where this information about allergens is, and how consumers can access it.

If allergen information given to you is incorrect or missing, and you consume an allergen because of this, this could result in an allergic reaction. If you’re unsure as to whether you have the correct evidence to prove such a personal injury claim, we’d be happy to give you advice over the phone.

What Are The 14 Main Allergens I Should Be Warned About?

There are 14 specified allergens that must be indicated or labelled as being present in foods. These are:

  1. Fish
  2. Peanuts
  3. Milk
  4. Sesame seeds
  5. Cereals that contain gluten – these could include wheat, oats, barley and rye
  6. Eggs
  7. Crustaceans – these could include crayfish, lobster, prawns and crabs
  8. Mustard
  9. Soya
  10. Molluscs – these could include squid, whelks, land snails and mussels
  11. Sulphites (sulphur dioxide) – sometimes used to preserve dried fruits
  12. Celery (including celeriac)
  13. Nuts – these could include pecans, brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios and macadamias
  14. Lupin – this could be found in pasta, pastries and breads

If a cafe does not indicate the presence of these allergens in pre-packaged foods, or through their allergen information (such as an allergy menu) you could suffer an allergic reaction by consuming it unknowingly.

Calculating Damages For An Allergic Reaction At Caffé Nero

If you’re wondering how a solicitor or a court could come to a calculation for an allergic reaction compensation payout, you may be surprised to learn that they would not usually use a personal injury claims calculator.

Every claim is unique, lawyers must assess all the evidence before arriving at a compensation payout. One important piece of evidence that could influence your payout would be the medical report.

You would obtain this by attending an assessment with an independent medical professional. They would ask you questions and examine you, then make a medical report which could be used to evidence your injuries.

Another purpose of the report is to prove that your injuries were caused or worsened by the incident. If the assessment finds that they weren’t, it could affect your claim.

Solicitors could use the report alongside the Judicial College Guidelines, which is a publication, to come to an appropriate value for your case.

How Much Could I Claim?

For the compensation table below, we have obtained some figures from the Judicial College Guidelines for injuries that could relate to allergic reactions. This could give you some rough insight into how much you could claim for the injuries.

Injuries Sustained Compensation Bracket (approx.) Remarks
Illnesses resulting from a non-traumatic injury (iv) Up to £3,710 Varying degrees of disabling pain, cramps, and diarrhea continuing for some days or weeks.
Illnesses resulting from a non-traumatic injury (iii) £3,710 to £8,950 Some of the symptoms experienced for injuries in this bracket could include an alteration of the bowel’s natural function, stomach cramps and fatigue. Injured parties might require hospital treatment and symptoms could continue for some weeks. A full recovery would be achieved/possible within 1-2 years.
Illnesses resulting from a non-traumatic injury (ii) £8,950 to £18,020 Short-lived yet serious symptoms, which could dissipate over 2-4 weeks but with some symptoms continuing for a few years afterwards. Such injures could have some impact on a person’s enjoyment of food or sex life. There may also be bowel disturbance.
Illnesses resulting from a non-traumatic injury (i) £36,060 to £49,270 Toxicosis cases which are severe and could involve diarrhoea, serious levels of pain and fever. Hospitalisation may be needed for days, or sometimes weeks. The person’s ability to work could be affected, as could their enjoyment of life.
Anguish (Mental) £4,380 Where a person fears their impending death or reduction in their life expectancy.

In addition to claiming for your injuries, you could also claim back any financial loss or out-of-pocket costs you’ve experienced due to the reaction. This could include care costs, loss of earnings, medical and travel costs. You’d need to evidence such costs to claim for them, however.

If you’d like to discuss your injuries and how they might be valued, get a free estimation from our advisors. They’re available 24/7 for any queries on food allergy claims.

What Does The Law Say About Allergens In Cafés?

Food establishments should know the law when it comes to the sale of food that contains allergens.

Although we have officially left the EU there may be times when we need to refer to EU regulation. Also as rules and regulations are changing due to Brexit many areas are yet to be finalised. Some Regulations and Laws that may need to be abided by for food production include;

  • Article 14 of EC Regulation 178/2002 (General Food Law Regulation): This prohibits the sale of ‘unsafe’ foods, which could injure the health of consumers or is not fit for consumption.
  • Section 15 of the Food Safety Act 1990: This section of the Act makes it an offence to falsely present or describe food.
  • Article 16 of EC Regulation 178/2002 (General Food Law Regulation): This prohibits the misleading of customers.
  • Section 14 of the Food Safety Act 1990: It is an offence for a food seller to sell foods that are not of the quality, substance or nature the purchaser demands.

In addition to facing enforcement action by the local authority for breaches of this legislation, food sellers could also face civil action from those who suffer due to the supply of a ‘defective’ product.

How Are Catering Establishments Defined?

Catering establishments could have legal action taken against them if they are negligent in giving accurate allergen information and cause someone to suffer an allergic reaction because of this.

  • Mass caterer or catering establishment: These could include canteens, cafés, restaurants, schools, hospitals or similar.
  • Seller of pre-packaged food: Providing foods that are packaged before sale to consumers or catering establishments. This could include ready meals, tinned foods or frozen food products, for example.
  • Pre-packed for direct sale sellers: Where foods are pre-packaged onsite before being sold to consumers. This could include sandwiches in a cafe, for example.
  • Non-pre-packaged foods: In retail, these could be loose items such as cold meats, cheeses, delicatessen ingredients. In a catering establishment, this could include meals ready for consumption.

Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation?

To make a valid claim for an allergic reaction, you would need to demonstrate:

  • A café was negligent in their duty to provide you with a safe product, causing you injury.
  • For example, they may have supplied a ‘defective’ product that caused you injury. Under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, this would be unlawful.

You may not be able to claim compensation if you chose a meal that you were aware contained the allergen that would trigger a reaction. Your claim would also be difficult to make if you were unaware of your allergies before eating something the cafe made that triggered a reaction.

If you’re not sure whether you could claim for your allergic reaction, we could help you. We could assess your case to see if you could be eligible for compensation.

Does The Consumer Rights Act 2015 Apply To Cafés?

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 protects consumers for almost all purchases they make. Under the Act you have the right to purchase products that are:

  • As described
  • Fit for purpose
  • Satisfactory in quality

If you intend to claim for suffering and pain caused by an allergic reaction a cafe should’ve prevented, this would involve making a personal injury claim.

Check The Time Limits For Allergic Reaction Claims

There is a personal injury claims time limit that applies. In general terms, this is 3 years from the incident date or the date you discovered the liable party had caused your reaction. However, some exceptions could apply. These could include:

  • Children, where an adult claims for them, the adult would have up until the child’s 18 birthday.
  • Someone who suffered the incident when they were under the age of 18, but nobody claimed on their behalf. If no one claimed for them as a child, the person has three years from their 18th birthday.
  • Someone lacking mental capacity that later regains it has 3 years once they regain capacity. If they don’t regain mental capacity, a litigation friend could claim on their behalf.

If you’re not sure what limitation period would apply to your claim, we could help. Please don’t hesitate to call our team for clarification.

I Suffered An Allergic Reaction At Caffé Nero, What Should I Do?

If you suffer an allergic reaction at Caffé Nero, there are various steps you might want to take, whether you intend to claim or not:

  1. Get medical attention: This could serve as evidence of you suffering symptoms of an allergy. It could also ensure you get the right advice and treatment.
  2. Take witness contact details: If someone witnesses your reaction, you could take down their contact details. If you are making a claim, they could give a witness statement.
  3. Take photographs: If you can take photographs that evidence what happened, such as photos of your injury, or the packaging or menu at the café, this could be useful.
  4. Seek assistance from a lawyer: They could help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

Claim For An Allergic Reaction At Caffé Nero On A No Win No Fee Basis

Some law firms provide a personal injury solicitor’s services under No Win No Fee terms. This means you don’t pay solicitor fees until your compensation comes through at the end of your claim.

How Do These Claims Work?

  • Initially, before the personal injury solicitor begins work on your case, you’d sign a No Win No Fee agreement. This contract promises your solicitor a small, legally capped fee, (known as a ‘success fee’) if they get you compensation. It’s usually documented as a small percentage of your total settlement.
  • Once you return your signed agreement to the solicitor, they’ll start to fight for the compensation you deserve. If your case goes to court, they’ll support you through this process.
  • When your compensation payout comes through, the solicitor will deduct their fee, and you’ll benefit from the balance.
  • Should your claim end without compensation, you wouldn’t pay the success fee.

Here at UK Law, we’re proud to be able to connect you with our panel of personal injury solicitors, who all work under these terms. To obtain advice or support, to check your eligibility or to start a claim, why not complete the contact form, or call us on 020 3870 4868. We’ll be glad to help.

Related Brand Claims Guides

Anaphylaxis Statistics: You can find information about anaphylaxis admissions to UK hospitals here.

What To Do About Anaphylaxis: This quick resource shows you what to do if someone suffers an anaphylactic reaction.

Living With Allergies: You can read some guidance on living with allergies here.

Claiming When There’s No Loss Of Earnings: Find out if you claim when you haven’t taken time off work here.

Work Accident Claims: Our team could also help with accident at work claims.

Slip Accidents: We have a guide pertaining to slip and fall accidents too.

FAQs About Your Rights After An Allergic Reaction At Caffé Nero

Can You Sue For An Allergic Reaction?

If a café had not provided accurate allergen information and this resulted in an allergic reaction, you could potentially be eligible for compensation. To claim for pain and suffering, you would need to make a personal injury claim.

Is An Allergic Reaction Considered An Accident?

If you have an allergic reaction due to a foods seller’s failure to provide accurate allergen information, this could be considered negligence.

Can I Sue For Anaphylaxis?

If you can prove the seller was at fault for your allergic reaction, you could claim for anaphylaxis. You could also claim for less serious cases of IgE-mediated and non-IgE-mediated reactions if caused by someone else.

What Is The First Aid For Allergic Reaction?

You should call 999 if you fear someone is having an anaphylactic attack.

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