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Allergic Reaction Compensation

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According to government research, an estimated 2 million people are currently living with food allergies in the UK, and tragically around 10 people die each year as a direct result of food-induced anaphylaxis (a serious allergic reaction).

Some of these deaths could be avoided if pre-packaged food clearly displayed any allergens and verbal communications within restaurants managed to convey to each customer the precise information of any ingredients.

With the food industry still struggling to fully address the scale of this problem it is imperative that you, the customer, know your rights and understand what food outlets and restaurants should be doing to ensure a duty of care is provided and you feel safe when eating out.

What is an Allergen?

An allergen is a substance that causes an allergic reaction. So, a food allergen is a food or an individual food group that can cause often serious and sometimes life-threatening reactions for affected individuals. It is not yet known why food allergies are on the increase, but they are on the rise the world over – within the last decade there has been a 50% increase in allergic reactions that have required hospitalisation.

It is thought that the body overcompensates and sees the harmless proteins in some foods as a threat. The body then releases chemicals to attack the intruding protein which in turn causes an allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis (a serious allergic reaction) is triggered when the immune system goes into overdrive and releases huge amounts of chemicals int the bloodstream to try and combat the presumed threatening protein.

How Should Food Outlets Communicate the Presence of Allergens?

From 2021, the law will state that pre-packed food should have an ingredients list with any allergens emphasised – and for non-prepacked food, for example food sold in a restaurant, the information for every item that contains any of the 14 allergens must be provided.

However, there is no hard and fast rule of how this allergen information should be presented or communicated to customers, just that it should be. As you can imagine verbally discussing the potential allergens in food or relying on information to be correctly transcribed onto chalkboards or printed on menus, leaves far too much room for human error.

The list of allergens is substantial, and there are 14 major allergen groups with the top x5 being common triggers specifically for children. The 14 major allergen groups are:

  • Peanuts
  • Cereals containing gluten
  • Milk
  • Soya
  • Eggs
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Celery
  • Crustaceans
  • Fish
  • Lupin (found in flour)
  • Molluscs
  • Mustard
  • Sulphites (found in dried fruit, soft drinks, wine, beer)

It is obvious that ensuring the concise and correct communication of these, in often noisy environments, is an issue which still needs comprehensively addressing. Misinterpreted, misunderstood or simply missing information is all too common. Busy and newly trained waiting staff are often relied upon to communicate this information correctly, but there is often no consistency in how to do this. There is also no guarantee that the correct information will be relayed between the customer, waiting staff and kitchen – and this is where life threatening mistakes can happen.

However, some popular restaurants are now taking steps to use online menus and apps. These allow customers to filter out foods according to their allergy. This is a step in the right direction by helping people to make an informed choice about what they might eat, and what they need to avoid.

Can I Take Steps to Avoid an Allergic Reaction?

If you feel your restaurant or food outlet is not providing visible or verbal comprehensive information on allergens, then speaking directly to the chef is recommended. Hopefully this will put your mind at rest. However, if you are still anxious about what is on offer it may unfortunately be wise to avoid eating there, at least in the interim, until full safeguards are in place at every establishment.

If you think someone is experiencing an allergic reaction for the first time, some of the signs you should watch out for are as follows:

– Swelling of the lips, face, tongue, throat

– Trouble breathing

– Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea

– Fainting

– Itching

However, if any of the following symptoms begin to occur, often within minutes of exposure to an allergen, then urgent medical assistance must be sourced as this is potentially a sign of life-threatening anaphylaxis:

– Drop in blood pressure

– A weak but rapid pulse

– Constriction of your airways and a swollen tongue or throat

Allergic Reaction Compensation Claims?

If you feel you, a loved one or a friend has been affected by a food allergen, no matter how minor then you may be able to claim for food allergy compensation if the allergic reaction was caused by negligence.

There are two specific types of compensation that can be awarded in a successful claim, general damages and special damages. General damages relate to compensation for any pain and suffering caused by the allergic relation to the food, and special damages which will cover the reimbursement of any loss of income or expenses you may have incurred or may incur in the future.

Collect Evidence

Collating information in relation to the incident which caused an allergic food reaction is key. Although at the time of the incident medical assistance will be your priority – but if photographic evidence of the menu can be gathered this will strongly help your case. If the information should have been verbally communicated then having a witness statement, from someone you were dining with, will help build a strong case, especially if they can confirm the allergen information was not verbally communicated. Your medical reports will also be used as part of the evidence as these will detail the incident, the type of allergic reaction you suffered, what medial intervention was given and any other relevant information.

A Metcalf May 2021

It’s finally over and we are out of the timeshare.

When I called in October last year and you answered the phone I was in a very bad place, having just realised I was being scammed again by J Foster Associates. You managed to calm me down and get my money back. I will not forget your calming voice that day and I will always be crateful to you for that. All the staff at Sara Waddington Solicitors have been excellent and the whole process has been smooth.

Mr B Davey

On behalf of my wife and myself, I would like to say a big thank you all at Sarah Waddington Solicitors who have helped us resolve our timeshare problem, you have put our minds at ease. I will not hesitate to recommend you should anybody who has a similar problem ask me in the future. Thanks again. Best Regards Mr B J Davey, Mrs J A Davey

Mr Terrence Webb

Former owner at Fortina Spa Resort, receiving over £14,000 in compensation. - "I was much relieved to be put in touch with you and I am just too impressed for words at the professionalism of the company."

P.A. Hobson

Thank you for your letter confirming the relinquishment of my timeshare. I was very pleased to receive it. I would like to thank you and your team for all your hard work, you made it very easy for me. All I had to do was be patient. So thank you very much and should anyone ask I will definitely recommend you.

Gary Semley

On a personal note today, after hearing the European Claim Centre (on the phone) call your company a 'scammer', today's conference came as further reassurance that we were absolutely with the right company. You may not realise it but your direct, and matter-of-fact 'bedside manner' left us in no doubt that we were under the care of very professional people (not that we should have needed any more reassurance).

Chris Roberton

Sarah gave excellent service and kept us informed in releasing us from Diamond Resorts points timeshare. Quite a relief to not have to pay those ever increasing maintenance fees. Thank you Sarah.

Mr and Mrs Andrews

When we got that final letter indicating that our membership with Diamond Resorts was now at an end it was such a relief. Financially it would have crippled us if we'd had to carry on paying the maintenance fees that were rising every year. When we took out our membership it was fine but everything went downhill after Diamond Resorts took over the business. It became a very expensive luxury which we could not afford and age and health became a problem. Diamond were very unhelpful when we tried to relinquish our membership and that was the reason why we turned to you for help. We would like to thank you for your help in this matter and we are more than happy with the representation and advice which you gave us.

Alan Clark

Sarah Waddington Solicitors has recently contested, and successfully won a flight compensation claim for me. I found them to be very friendly, helpful and extremely professional. The contact was minimal throughout with no hassle, and I was kept up to date with proceedings as things progressed. I received the full amount of compensation (although when I initially challenged the Airline myself they told me I wasn't entitled to anything!!) for which I am delighted. I would have no hesitation contacting Sarah Waddington again or recommending her to family, friends and colleagues.

Arman Mazlum

A first class service from an approachable yet highly professional practice. Dealt with my flight delay claim extremely swiftly and with minimal hassle. Much recommended.

Carol Walker

When the maintenance fees for our time share soared in price we decided to try and " get out of our contract" after much discussions we were told that it would be very difficult if not impossible eventually we were put in touch with Sarah and she said she could help. After many months of contact with the timeshare company Sarah was successful and our contract was cancelled. Sarah kept us informed every step of the way. So if you are looking to cancel your timeshare give Sarah a call I am sure she will give you excellent advice.

Colette Walton

When we were first told that Sarah Waddington Solicitors could terminate our contract with a points style timeshare company, we were concerned that it wasn't a legitimate claim, as we had been told by the timeshare company that it wasn't possible. However, Sarah Waddington's have managed to terminate our contract for us, for which we are very grateful. We were kept informed throughout the case, very politely and professionally. We would certainly recommend Sarah Waddington Solicitors to anyone who is having the same problems.

David Williams

I am very happy with the service and support Sarah has provide to me, in dealing with a complex case over the last 12 months. I would have no problems recommending Sarah to any of my friends. I have contacted other law firms in Leeds and found them pompous and arrogant, Sarah is not and works well those who have less or no legal knowledge. I would advise any new clients, Sarah is user friendly.

Paul Goodhall

Just received my cheque for over £600 for my Flight Delay claim which was handled by Sarah Waddington Solicitors. I had a flight delay with my family a few years ago and after coming across their website submitted my claim which was simple and stress free. They were able to get my compensation within a few months on a No Win No Fee basis, was well worth the wait and the fee and would highly recommend them to my friends and family which I have already done. The money will now go towards a much needed holiday for my family again and as much as the delay caused us to miss 3 hours of our holiday, to receive this money it goes a long way towards compensating us for the loss of the time and inconvenience. I now happily await the next 3 hour delay!!

Dr Pilkington

Thank you very much for your help on the Timeshare matter. I cannot tell you how relieved I am!

S Gerscher

It is indeed great news, my wife is highly delighted as there was the worry of anything had happened to me she would have struggled financially yo pay these fees. May I take this opportunity o thank you and your colleagues for making this possible.

Mr & Mrs Betchley

Thank you for all the work that you ad the team carried out for our Timeshare relinquishment.

Mrs & Mrs Laughton

Thanks to all the team at Sarah Waddington Solicitors for their expert assistance & work in bringing this Timeshare matter y a successful conclusion. I would recommend your Solicitors practice without reservation to others who may now have reached a stage in their life where circumstances are changing.

Mr & Mrs Allen

Many thank once again for all the work you have done to draw this Timeshare issue to a close. It is very much appreciated and a great relief.

Mr & Mrs Cumberauld

After seeking to free ourselves from the trauma of timeshare, pestered by organisations who wanted to “help”, but it felt like timeshare selling all over again! We then found the team at Sarah Waddington Solicitors. An incredible team that communicates frequently and they successfully steered us through to our relinquishment. What a result SWS has our deepest thanks.

Mr & Mrs Sides

Thank you so much for getting me out of my Timeshare contract and getting all my money back. Please accept my very sincere thanks for all your help and hard work on my behalf. I cannot begin to say how grateful I am.

Ms G Cope-Brown. 3/06/2019

“Thank you to the team at Sarah Waddington Solicitors for getting me out of my Timeshare. We were impressed with just how quick and easy it was”.

Ms Aerts, Berkshire. 13/6/2019

“I would like to thank Sarah Waddington Solicitors for dealing with my Holiday Sickness Claim on my behalf. I have now received the compensation that I was rightfully owed and I’m very grateful for all of their help”

Mr Rowley. 13/6/2019

“On behalf of Mrs Evans & I. We both thank you so very very much, for your determination & persistence in managing to resolve our claim against, Vuelling Airlines. Lisa, you have shown so much empathy & understanding to us both in this long fought battle & I hope your superiors appreciate that your a great asset to their firm!!!You have made to over 70s very happy & we shall recommend your firm to others, who have had similar unfortunate & stressful dealing with Airline Companies regarding similar flight cancellations. We shall now book another holiday but no flights with, Vuelling Airlines!!!'”.

Mr & Mrs Scullion, 14/6/2019

“Hello to all, just received the excellent news regarding our claim against Fuelling Airlines and would like to thank you for all your hard work and perseverance regards our claim excellent result”

Mrs Evans. 14/6/2019

I would like to thank everyone at Sarah Waddington especially John Hurley for Issuing proceedings and getting me out of the contract I had with Club la Costa. It's a relief to have that weight taken off me. I would recommend this business to anyone in my situation.

Ms Vail. 19/6/2019

Thank you for your call today letting us know we are out of our Timeshare, we are both so grateful for this piece of news. At this point, we are both looking forwards to finally thinking about 'living' again after the last four years or so of feeling like we'd completely wrecked the financial lives of our children as well as our own. Thanks to the persistence and sheer hard work of Sarah Waddington Solicitors it is now dawning on us that we can move on with our lives and we are eternally grateful to them for this.

Mr & Mrs Semley, Barnsley. 24/5/2019

Thank you to Sarah Waddingtons for their help terminating my timeshare contract- it is a great relief to have this finalised so that my daughter does not have to be bothered with it in the future

Ms Yellop. 29/7/2019

Thank you to Sarah Waddingtons for their help terminating my timeshare contract- it is a great relief to have this finalised so that my daughter does not have to be bothered with it in the future

Mr & Mrs Pask. 07/8/2019

We have today received a letter from Lena Karisson of Palm Oasis confirming our contract is cancelled. Hallelujah it has taken a lot of time and work to achieve. So thank you.

Ms Toone, Leicestershire. 28/8/2019

Thank you for getting me my compensation for my holiday sickness claim, such a relief. Please extend my thanks to Ornella and Alfie for bringing this to such a satisfactory conclusion.

Mr & Mrs Ramage 4/9/2019

We are delighted at the work carried out on our behalf, and our successful relinquishment of our timeshare by Sarah Waddington solicitors, and all so quick and pleasant. Mr Robert Adam was a joy to talk to and kept us informed throughout the process.

Mr & Mrs Jervis 10/9/2019

A big thank you to Sarah Waddington and her team for the hard work and unflappable, steady and reassuring professionalism throughout. Thanks to the team’s efforts and expertise we are finally released from our timeshare contract

Z Chaieb 21/10/2019

Richard Ricks is a knowledgeable, helpful, professional, understanding, and calm Barrister. He dealt with my case incredibly well, and got me the result I needed and wanted. I would highly recommend him to anybody in need of legal support.

T.G. & R.A. Booth. 21/10/2019

We are extremely grateful that Sarah Waddington Solicitors have managed to cancel our contract with Club la Costa. It has been like an albatross around our necks and it hasn't helped the health issues that we both have been suffering from for the last few years. It feels like a great weight has been lifted.

Mr and Mrs Byrne 27/9/2019

We have received today 27/9/2019 a letter from V C Lawson Legal Dept Diamond Resorts confirming our contract with them has been cancelled, it has taken 2 years and money to do it but we are finely FREE hooray!!!.Thank You for all the work you have done to get us and our family out of all this situation.

Prove Negligence

Once you have collated evidence your solicitor can look at proving negligence for your food allergy claim. This is intended to show that the food establishment did not follow regulations and they did not convey to you any of the allergens which were present in the food.

However, remember that the food manufacturer or retailer is in no way responsible for your allergy, but they are responsible for making you aware of any allergens included in the food.

Finally, it is worth noting there is generally a three-year timeframe for you to submit a negligence claim. Therefore, starting your claim as soon as possible whilst your memory, and any potential evidence, is still fresh is recommended.


Widbury Barns, Widbury Hill, Ware, Hertfordshire, SG12 7QE