What Are Your Rights After An Allergic Reaction At Pret A Manger?

This is a guide exploring the justifications that may be required for a potential compensation claim after an allergic reaction at Pret a Manger.

If someone else’s negligence was the cause of your allergic reaction, then a UK lawyer could help you make a personal injury claim for the harm you suffered. It’s important to note that it’s not essential for you to use the services of a solicitor to claim, but we believe it can be extremely useful.

This guide will provide you with the knowledge that we believe you need to proceed with an allergic reaction claim.Allergic Reaction At Pret A Manger

All claims are based on their own unique set of circumstances. These include the situation that led to the claim, and also the harm and financial loss the victim faced. Because of this, we can’t hope to cover every single eventuality in one short guide. Therefore, you may have questions that this guide has not covered.

If this is the case, all you have to do is call 020 3870 4868 and speak to one of our expert claim advisors. They could answer all of the questions you have, and also explain how we can help you get your claim started.

Get In Touch With Our Team

We understand that you may prefer talking to experts, like our claim advisors. If you would like to talk over your potential case with our claims team, you can use the contact information at the end of the guide to reach out to us. An advisor could help, and can also let you know which personal injury claims time limit is going to apply.

Services And Information

Everything You Need To Know About Your Rights After A Triggered Food Allergy Reaction At Pret A Manger

This guide aims to give information about a potential claim following an allergic reaction at Pret a Manger. We start with some basic background information about food allergies and allergic reactions. For example, we discuss what an allergy is, how they are triggered, and the symptoms that they can manifest.

The next part of the guide moves on to look at some legal and financial information. You will learn all about your rights in relation to being informed about the allergen content of food. And you will find that we have provided a basic compensation table that demonstrates how the more pain and suffering you go through, the higher the compensation payout you could receive. This is followed by a list of common types of damages people claim for.

The guide then moves on to look at some legal considerations. You will learn about the laws related to food labelling in the UK. We’ll also consider a definition of ‘catering establishment’. Our consumer rights are covered, and how they apply to food allergy claims as well.

The last few sections of this guide will inform you of the time limits that might apply, give you some advice on how to move forward with a claim, and explain what a No Win No Fee claim is. We close this guide with some useful links and a basic FAQ section.

If, at any point, you’d like to get free legal advice, use our live chat or call our advisors on the number at the top of the page.

What Is A Triggered Food Allergic Reaction At Pret A Manger?

A food allergy is when your immune system reacts to an allergen as if it were a threat, even though it’s harmless. This involves your body providing histamines and antibodies.

Unfortunately, this response can have health implications of its own and can lead to fatality in extreme cases. And this is what an allergic reaction is: your body responding to a presumed toxin in error.

If this reaction is triggered by someone else’s negligence, then you may be able to make a compensation claim for the harm you have suffered.

As a consumer, you would be expected to be somewhat responsible for your own health in regards to your known food allergies. Therefore, when you’re at a cafe or restaurant, you’re expected to seek out information on the relevant allergens in their food.

However, food suppliers such as cafes and restaurants have an obligation to have accessible and accurate allergen information. If the information you receive is inaccurate, you may suffer an allergic reaction through no fault of your own. In that instance, you could claim for the harm caused.

What Could Cause A Triggered Food Allergy Reaction In A Cafe, Takeaway Or Coffee Shop?

As we explained in the previous section, an allergic reaction is your body’s incorrect response to a perceived threat. In the case of food allergies, this means that you have ingested food or drink that contains the allergen you are allergic to.

For example, you could have a food allergy to an ingredient in a Pret a Manger dish. If you know you have an allergy, you should avoid this dish. But in some cases, mistakes can be made leading to you being served food that contains an allergen you are allergic to.

For example:

  • You may ask a food server to remove an allergen from your meal. They may agree to this, but neglect to remove the allergen.
  • An allergen menu may be incorrect, not alerting you to one of the allergens a meal contains that must be listed.
  • There may be no information on the likelihood of cross-contamination for a meal where there is a possibility of cross-contamination.

Common Symptoms Of Triggered Food Allergy

In general, allergic reactions share common symptoms regardless of what allergen caused the reaction. If you do have an allergic reaction, you may suffer symptoms such as:

  • Itchy, red skin.
  • Watering eyes.
  • A stuffed up nose, or a runny nose and sneezing.
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue.
  • Stomach pain and sickness.

The most severe allergic reactions result in anaphylactic shock. The symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Confusion.
  • High heart rate.
  • Unconsciousness.
  • Sweaty or clammy skin.

Anaphylaxis can be fatal and, as advised by the NHS, you would need emergency medical treatment.

Allergy Warning Labelling And Your Rights

There are rules and regulations in place in the UK, that are intended to help keep you safe from suffering an allergic reaction through negligence. We will look at some of these later in the guide.

Food businesses should provide the correct warning labelling. For example, with non-prepacked foods, they should be sure to provide information on whether the food contains any of the 14 allergens. This can be done through an allergen menu, for example.

Prepacked foods are those that are packaged before they’re put on sale. They have to have an ingredients list that also clearly shows allergens if they’re within the food.

Prepacked for direct sale foods are packaged on the same premises as they’re sold on. From October 2021, they need to have a list of ingredients with any allergens clearly labelled. However, before this date, the rules regarding allergens for non-prepacked foods applied to those prepacked for direct sale.

What Allergens Do I Need To Be Notified Of?

There are 14 major allergens. These are:

  1. Celery
  2. Cereals containing gluten
  3. Fish
  4. Crustaceans
  5. Eggs
  6. Lupin
  7. Milk
  8. Sulphur dioxide
  9. Peanuts
  10. Nuts
  11. Mustard
  12. Sesame seeds
  13. Molluscs
  14. Soya.

These 14 allergens can be found in some common foods. For example, they might be in the below meals. Though we’ve listed one potential allergen per food, there may be versions of the food without any of the 14 allergens, or with more allergens than one.

  • Birthday cake (nut allergy).
  • Custard (egg allergy).
  • Chocolate (milk allergy).
  • Brown bread (cereals containing gluten allergy).
  • Protein drinks (soya allergy).
  • Fresh salad (celery allergy).
  • Prawn cocktail (crustacean allergy).
  • Cod and chips (fish allergy).
  • Pastries (lupin allergy).

Calculating Compensation For A Triggered Food Allergic Reaction At Pret A Manger

If a claim for compensation is successful, then you should receive general damages. This is compensation for the physical or mental pain and suffering you experienced because of the allergic reaction that wasn’t your fault.

The compensation table below shows different awards for varying degrees of illness. We based the table on figures from the guidelines produced by the Judicial College. Solicitors may use these guidelines to help them value different injuries.

Medical ProblemEstimated Severity?Important NotesRange of Damages
Illness/Damage Resulting from Non-traumatic InjurySevereWithin this compensation bracket would be severe allergic reactions to allergens in food. The symptoms would be very painful. Emergency medical care may be needed to treat the symptoms initially. The victim would be in hospital for some weeks or days. £36,060 to £49,270

Illness/Damage Resulting from Non-traumatic InjurySeriousWithin this compensation bracket would be serious but short-lived symptoms after allergic reactions to food. £8,950 to £18,020
Illness/Damage Resulting from Non-traumatic InjuryCausing significant discomfortFull recovery within 2 years. £3,710 to £8,950
Illness/Damage Resulting from Non-traumatic InjuryVarying degrees of painContinuing symptoms for some days or weeks. Up to £3,710

The Damages You Could Claim

When valuing general damages, solicitors can take into consideration:

  • Impairment or disability in the long term.
  • Psychological injuries (such as depression or anxiety).
  • The pain and suffering at the time of the allergic reaction.

Special damages compensate you for any financial loss that the allergic reaction causes. This could be losses already encountered, or losses that are predicted in the future. Examples could include:

  • Loss of income because you did not receive all of your pay when you took time off work to recover.
  • Therapy fees that aren’t covered by the NHS.
  • Losses such as the cost of travel tickets to and from hospital appointments.
  • The time your family or friends spent caring for you.

If you are going to try and claim back financial losses, you will have to prove this spending. You could do this by submitting receipts, invoices, bills, etc.

The Law On Labelling And Use Of Allergens In Takeaways

Comprehensive legislation related to food safety, including food labelling, is the Food Standards Act 1999. And there are also a number of other laws that make up general food law. These laws should, in a perfect world, keep you safe from an allergic reaction. But of course, mistakes can be made.

As discussed earlier, non-prepacked foods, prepacked foods and foods that are prepacked for direct sale have to adhere to labelling rules when it comes to allergens.

Other ways that takeaways could warn you of allergens include the below.

  • Takeaways could train their serving staff to tell you about the allergen content of the food you would like to order.
  • If staff aren’t aware of allergens or the likelihood of cross-contamination in the food, they should be able to point out the correct, accessible information for you.

What Is The Definition Of A Catering Establishment?

The type of establishments that you could class as catering premises would be those that sell or give away food. This could include food that is served on-site or packaged to take away.

Examples could include:

  • A restaurant, bistro or a cafe.
  • Fast food outlets selling food such as burgers or fish and chips.
  • Food delivery services.
  • Takeaway restaurants.
  • A staff canteen.

Your Rights To Make A Claim After A Triggered Food Allergy Reaction At A Cafe

You are entitled to make a complaint if you believe that you have suffered an allergic reaction because of negligence on the part of restaurant operators or a member of its staff. And you also have the right to make a compensation claim if you can prove that negligence took place.

The key here is that the onus is on you to prove negligence. However, a solicitor can advise you on the best way to go about this. Our advisors can give you some free legal advice as well; just give them a call.

Does The Consumer Rights Act Apply To Food And Drinks?

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 does apply to food and drinks. Therefore, restaurants, cafes, takeaways and other food-serving establishments should offer you food that is of satisfactory quality, matches the menu description and isn’t harmful to consume.

If you have suffered an allergic reaction and want to leverage your consumer rights, you could speak to our advisors about the best way to move forward with this.

Time Limits For Making A Takeaway Allergy Claim

If you intend to make a compensation claim for an allergic reaction, you will need to begin your claim within the applicable time limit.

Generally, you would have three years from the date the allergic reaction took place or the date you became aware that negligence caused it (if you had a delayed reaction, for example).

However, if you were under 18 years of age at the time of the incident, you would have three years from the date of your 18th birthday to claim. Alternatively, certain people could claim on your behalf before this. They would be known as a litigation friend.

Those who lack the mental capacity to claim can also have a litigation friend claim on their behalf unless they recover their mental capacity. If they recover their mental capacity, they have three years to claim from when their recovery begins.

Speak to our claims team to find out which time limit may apply based on your own unique situation.

I Suffered An Allergic Reaction At Pret A Manger, What Should I Do?

If you have suffered an allergic reaction at Pret a Manger, there are some things you can do. You could, for example, send through a complaint.

After suffering an allergic reaction due to someone else’s negligence, you could:

  • Make sure you get medical treatment.
  • Keep the packaging of the food that caused the allergic reaction (if applicable and if the packaging is supposed to list the allergen but doesn’t).
  • Gather the contact details of any witnesses to the incident.
  • Start to keep a record of financial losses caused by the allergic reaction.

You could also contact our claims team if you have evidence of a valid claim.

Claim For A Triggered Food Allergic Reaction At Pret A Manger On A No Win No Fee Basis

If you have a justifiable claim, you may be able to make it under a No Win No Fee agreement. This would mean that you don’t have to pay any solicitor fees unless the claim is a success.

You’d also have no upfront solicitor fees and no solicitor fees across the lifetime of the claim. And if the claim were to fail, you wouldn’t have to pay your solicitor their fee at all.

If the claim is won though, you would be asked to pay a legally limited success fee. This would be a small percentage deducted from the settlement so that you benefit from the remainder.

Our advisors can explain to you how such a claim works, and you can contact them using the information below. An advisor will talk over your claim with you, and let you know how we may be able to help you to move forward with your claim.

Other Information

We have published other, related guides. You may like to take a look at these for more useful information.

How To Make Food Allergy Claims

Your Rights After An Allergic Reaction

Your Rights After An Allergic Reaction At McDonald’s

The links below take you to external websites that have additional helpful information that you might like to check over.

What Is Food Allergy And Intolerance?

Allergens In Food In The UK

36 Types Of Food Allergy

FAQs About Your Rights After A Triggered Food Allergic Reaction At Pret A Manger

Here, we will give some answers to the common types of questions that people have about making a claim for an allergic reaction. If you have any other questions, you can use the contact details in the section above to get in touch with our advisors. They will be able to help you further.

What is the new law that will require providing information on allergens at a restaurant?

Restaurants should already have allergen information that’s easily accessible. However, a new law (called Natasha’s Law) requires places selling food that’s prepacked for direct sale to list ingredients and allergens on it.

When is Natasha’s law coming into effect?

Natasha’s law will come into play in October of 2021.

How do restaurants deal with food allergies?

Restaurants should follow all rules and regulations related to food safety. To do this, they could provide staff with adequate training regarding food allergens in their meals and how to cater to customers with food allergies.

Thank you for reading our guide exploring what could happen after an allergic reaction at Pret a Manger.

Writer CE 

Checked by HT