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Food Allergy Lawsuits: Know The Difference Between Food Intolerance & Food Allergy


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11/16/2014
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Food allergy and food intolerance are not the same thing, and they are often confused.  It is important for parents to know the difference between food allergy and food intolerance.  Children may not develop a food allergy until they are older.  Therefore, when a child suffers their first allergic reaction, it is important for parents to know food allergy symptoms and take the child to a hospital immediately.

Food Intolerance Symptoms

Food intolerance happens when a food irritates a person's stomach or the person can't properly digest it.  People with food intolerance may have the following symptoms:

  • stomach cramps or bloating;
  • headaches;
  • heartburn; and/or
  • fatigue.

A person experiencing food intolerance usually exhibits symptoms gradually.  For example, stomach cramps may not occur until a couple of hours after the person eats the food.  Even if a person has food intolerance toward a specific type of food, food intolerance symptoms may only show if a large quantity of the food was eaten.  For example, someone may have food intolerance to shrimp but does not discover it until he eats a lot of shrimp during one meal. 

Food Allergy Symptoms

Food allergies occur when a person's immune system mistakes a food allergen as harmful and starts to attack it.  Unlike food intolerance, food allergy symptoms come on suddenly or shortly after the person ingests a food allergen, such as peanuts.  Symptoms may include:

  • hives and/or rashes on skin;
  • shortness of breath;
  • chest pain;
  • itchiness of the throat;
  • swelling of the throat; and/or
  • difficulty breathing.

A person may have such a severe food allergy that even small traces of the food allergen can trigger a life-threatening allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis.  See Peanut Allergy Reaction On Airplanes-PA Food Allergy Lawyer.

Schools & Food Allergy Policies

Not only should parents know the symptoms and differences between food intolerance and food allergy, daycares and schools must educate and train their employees and teachers about food intolerance and food allergy. 

Teachers who know and recognize symptoms of an allergic food reaction can help save a student's life in the event the student suffers an allergic reaction.  In addition, EpiPens should be kept in the schools for students who suffer severe food allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis.  If teachers and staff are not properly trained about the symptoms of food allergies and protocols for dealing with a student who has an allergic food reaction, a child may be seriously injured or die as a result.  In such cases, schools may be responsible for the child's injuries from the severe allergic reaction or the child's death.

Help After A Severe Allergic Food Reaction Due To Someone's Negligence

If you or a loved one suffered a life-threatening allergic reaction due to a school or restaurant's negligence, call the food allergy lawyers at White and Williams to explore your loved one's legal rights. Free consultations.  Call 877.944.8396.



Category: Food Allergy Cases

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