The number of people who have various types of food allergies to peanuts, wheat, dairy, etc., is growing. Researchers estimate that approximately 15 million Americans have food allergies. According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011.
People with food allergies have to be especially careful when they dine out. First, they must read the menus carefully to make sure that the meals they are ordering do not have something they are allergic to, such as peanuts, gluten, etc. Second, even if the ingredients listed in the dish do not have the food allergen, they still need to check with their servers to confirm that the dish in fact, does not contain the food allergen. For example, someone who is allergic to peanuts may see that the dish they are ordering does not list peanut as an ingredient. However, to avoid accidental exposure, they still need to check with the server because the dish may be prepared using peanut oil.
Unfortunately, accidental exposure to a food allergen may occur when dining out even when the above precautions are followed. This is what happened to a woman we represented in a recent food allergy lawsuit.
Our client was dining out at a restaurant located inside a hotel in rural Pennsylvania. After looking at the menu, she wanted to order a stir fry dish, which did not list mushrooms as an ingredient. Knowing that she is allergic to mushrooms, she requested her server to inform the kitchen of her food allergy and confirm that there were no mushrooms in the stir fry she wished to order. After a visit to the kitchen, the server returned and assured our client that mushrooms would not be in the stir fry. Our client then ordered the stir fry.
After eating more than half her meal, our client found a piece of mushroom in her dish. She immediately alerted the server. Upon examining the dish, the restaurant confirmed that there was in fact a piece of mushroom in her meal.
Within an hour, our client started to feel nauseous and began vomiting. She also suffered a sudden migraine, which she had experienced before when she was exposed to mushrooms. In addition, she started to have numbness in her face.
We filed a PA food allergy lawsuit on behalf of our client against the restaurant and was able to settle the case for a satisfactory confidential amount.
If you were exposed to a food allergen due to the negligence of a restaurant, bar, school, etc., you have legal rights. Call our personal injury lawyers who are licensed in PA and NJ to schedule a FREE consultation. 877.944.8396