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Allergic Reaction After Eating At A Mexican Restaurant – Can I Claim Compensation? – Food Allergy What To Do & Guide?

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 11th April 2022. Have you suffered an allergic reaction after eating at a Mexican restaurant? We should point out from the beginning that a person will not be allergic to a whole food cuisine but to certain ingredients that may be found in the food. For example, a person may be allergic to nuts that are found in a Mexican dish not the dish as a whole. To make a claim for an allergic reaction that has happened in a restaurant, negligence must be proven and be the established cause of the customers suffering.

Allergic reaction after eating in Mexican restaurant claims guide

Allergic reaction after eating in Mexican restaurant claims guide

Each claim and the circumstances leading up to it are usually somewhat unique in nature. Our expert team of advisors is on call to answer any questions that this guide doesn’t cover. They can also walk you through the claims process, and advise you on what your next steps should be. You may reach us on 0800 073 8804.

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A Guide To Claims For An Allergic Reaction After Eating At A Mexican Restaurant

This guide to making a compensation claim for an allergic reaction due to the negligence of restaurant staff will provide vital information to those wanting to make a claim. As long as you are taking action within the personal injury claims time limit, then this guide should be of use to you. Once you have finished reading this guide you should have all the basic information you need to start making the right choices about your own claim.

This guide starts off with a look at what a food allergy is and why allergic reactions happen. We go over the causes and the symptoms, including anaphylaxis. We also explain why in certain situations, a Mexican restaurant could be liable for damages if you suffer an allergic reaction.

The middle part of this guide is information, covering the kinds of foodstuffs that contain allergens, as well as listing some of the more popular Mexican restaurants and dishes in the UK. Additionally, we look at some statistics that relate to allergies. Next, we move on to cover some of the actual scenarios that could be deemed as negligence. Including requesting an ingredient left out but it still being added, and other kinds of mistakes.

The Claims Process

The last part of this guide covers both some legal considerations and also highlights a couple of financial aspects you may need more information about. We briefly cover the food safety laws that relate to food allergies in the UK, and whether you must inform a restaurant of your food allergy before ordering. You will find that we have added a short damages table, that will help you to estimate roughly how much you could be able to claim for your suffering alone. We support this table with a list of common damages your claim might be based on.

Lastly, you will find an overview of what we see as the main way we can help you. By providing you with one of our expert personal injury solicitors working under a No Win No Fee deal. This will minimise financial risk while securing the legal help you may need to move your claim forward today.

When you have finished reading this guide, you may find that you want to know more or need some questions answered. If you do, talk to our team who will be happy to help you. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, and you can contact us using the telephone number at the end of this guide.

What Is An Allergic Reaction After Eating At A Mexican Restaurant?

What does it mean to be allergic to something? If you suffer from a food allergy, eating that particular food causes your body to react as if the food substance will cause you harm. Your body has a set response to deal with poisons, and this is what is triggered when an allergic reaction takes place. Your body is taking what can be extreme measures to neutralise the threat of the toxin. Mexican food as with any other foods may contain allergens. If you eat a particular food that contains this allergen ingredient you will suffer an allergic reaction.

What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction? They can range from almost unnoticeable to deadly. They include:

  • An itchy area of skin, a red or sore rash.
  • Problems with loose bowels and stomach pain.
  • Being nausea.
  • Swelling in and around your throat or sometimes your tongue.
  • Your eyes watering a lot.
  • Your nose feeling as if it is blocked.
  • Anaphylactic shock (more on this in the next section).

What Are Anaphylactic Reactions?

Anaphylactic shock is a condition that causes extreme symptoms of an allergic reaction. In the most extreme cases, this medical condition can result in death. Symptoms of anaphylaxis can include:

  • Lightheaded
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Clammy skin
  • Racing pulse
  • Falling unconscious

If you suspect that a person is suffering from anaphylactic shock you should call an ambulance as this is a medical emergency.

Can You Be Allergic To Mexican Food?

Some people may ask whether it’s possible to have an allergic reaction to Mexican food. The answer is that there are some Mexican foods which certain people should avoid if they have specific allergies. So, what ingredients should food allergy sufferers avoid in Mexican food? Under UK law applied by the Food Standards Agency, there are 14 allergens that must be highlighted to customers and consumers when buying or selecting food. These allergens can be found in many foods, including the types of food we could encounter every day. To show how prolific allergens are, consider these examples below, showing how some common foods could contain one or more allergens:

  • A cup of coffee (milk, dairy or soy).
  • A bowl of mixed nuts (tree nuts or peanuts).
  • Fish and chips (fish or seafood).
  • Prawn crackers (shellfish or seafood).
  • A pre-packaged beef sandwich (mustard, wheat or gluten).
  • A fresh bean salad (lupin or celery).
  • Cereal that contains wheat.
  • A home-made smoothie (fruit or vegetables).

Numerous Mexican sauces can contain nuts. Other popular foods from Mexico can contain other allergens, particularly gluten and milk.

Examples Of Mexican Restaurants And Foods In Britain

Mexican food is popular in the UK. There are a number of Mexican restaurants that stand out, such as:

  1. Wahaca
  2. Lupita
  3. Chiquito
  4. Chipotle Mexican Grill

Popular Mexican Dishes That May Contain Allergies

Mexican dishes range from spicy salads, tangy sauces to filling mains. Some of the most popular Mexican dishes in the UK are:

  • Fajitas (may contain gluten)
  • Chili Con Carne (may contain gluten)
  • Nachos (may contain gluten and be served with foods containing milk and/or nuts)
  • Burritos (may contain many allergens including gluten, milk, mustard and sulphites)
  • Salsa
  • Quesadilla (usually contains milk and gluten)
  • Guacamole
  • Taco Salad (may contain nuts and milk)
  • Chimichangas (may contain many allergens including gluten, milk, mustard and sulphites)
  • Huevos Rancheros (usually contains egg and may also contain other allergies)

Rates Of Allergies To Foods

If we examine some of the statistics that relate to food allergies in the UK, we find that:

  • Approximately 1 in 100 people across the nation suffer from one type of coeliac disease or other.
  • An estimated 1% to 2% of people over 18 have a food allergy.
  • An estimated 5% to 8% of people under 18 have a food allergy.

We can see those food allergies are something of a problem for the health service in the UK.

Could You Request A Specific Ingredient Be Left Out?

If you are an allergy sufferer, then you already know that you have to avoid certain things when you eat. To avoid an allergic reaction to Mexican food you could ask that certain ingredients be left out of the dish you have ordered. You can check with the serving staff if this is possible. They are not obliged to say yes, and they may advise that your request can’t be managed. If they agree to leave a particular ingredient out then they should follow this through completely.

Should Staff Follow Your Request To Leave An Ingredient Out?

If you do request a dish to be prepared in a special way, omitting an ingredient to avoid a food allergic reaction in a Mexican restaurant, and your request is accepted, then it must be actioned. If the serving staff forget to tell the chef or the chef does not comply without telling the customer the ingredient remains it is likely you will suffer an allergic reaction. This is negligence and you may be in a position to make a compensation claim.

Legal Protections That Diners In A Restaurant Have

The Food Standards Act 1999 sits at the centre of rules and regulations that are aimed at providing consumers with safe food. If these laws are not followed by a restaurant, this could ultimately result in you suffering an allergic reaction. If it can be proven that non-compliance was the cause, then a personal injury claim could be pursued if suffering is caused. This is something we can help you with if you call and talk to an advisor to find out how.

What Allergen Warning Information Must Be Provided?

One of the pivotal parts of food safety laws in the UK related to food allergies is that food manufacturers, retailers, and cooked food outlets must make sure that the 14 main allergens are communicated. This means that when you are ordering food from a Mexican restaurant, full Mexican food allergy info must be provided. The vehicle for providing this info will change, depending on specific circumstances. For example:

When seated at the table ordering food, then the allergen information must be easily found and comprehensive enough for you to choose safely from the food on offer.

If you are using a smartphone app or a website to order online, this same allergen information must be included on the site and must be easily found.

Takeaway or delivery through a phone call, the person who is taking your order on the phone must be able to provide allergen information or tell you where it is located.

When this information is omitted, not detailed enough, or is just plain wrong, then this could lead you to order something that could trigger your food allergy. In this case, this could be deemed as a failure on the part of the restaurant and a claim may be possible.

When And How To Tell A Restaurant About Your Allergy

You are not obliged to tell the employees of a Mexican restaurant that you have a food allergy. You might decide you want to, but you shouldn’t need to, as all of the allergen information you need should be provided for you, as we have seen in the previous section.

Some people like to tell the serving staff about their food allergy, as it speeds up to ordering process having the staff provide the Mexican restaurant allergy information, rather than having to find it and read it. When the serving staff do offer help and advice over choosing safe food, this needs to be entirely accurate information. If the staff provides inaccurate information, you might order something thinking it is safe for you to eat, only to suffer an allergic reaction to the Mexican food you ordered afterwards. This would be seen as negligence, and we could be able to help you to make a  compensation claim for the harm you suffered.

Calculating Compensation For An Allergic Reaction

We created the table below by basing it on information provided by the Judicial College. The guidelines published are used as reference material for solicitors to value claims. You can use this table to find out a rough guide to how much compensation you might get if your claim is a success.

Health IssueHow Bad?CompensationNotes
IllnessSerious£8,950 to £18,020This would be some form of serious illness, with painful and dilapidating symptoms. The victim may require hospitalisation to deal with the medical condition.
IllnessMinor£860 to £3,710This would be some form of minor illness, with symptoms such as cramps, sickness, impaired bowel function, etc. that would clear up within a few weeks.
IllnessModerate£3,710 to £8,950This would be some form of moderate illness, food poisoning for example, that would have symptoms such as fatigue, moderate fever, sickness, diarrhoea, etc. The main symptoms would clear up in weeks, with some lingering for a year or two.
IllnessSevere£36,060 to £49,270This would be some form of severe illness, that will require the victim to be hospitalised to treat. Symptoms such as a high fever, dehydration, severe abdominal cramps, etc. would last for some time.

This table only includes general damages. These are damages that look to compensate you for the pain and suffering caused by your illness.

General damages, all of which relate to psychological or physical harm in some way. The calculation of the level of compensation is based on factors such as how much pain you had, whether you had to undergo traumatic medical care, if you are going to have long-term health problems, etc. For example:

  • For a permanent disability or long-term health issue.
  • If you suffered psychological harm, such as new phobias, anxiety or depression.
  • For undergoing invasive treatment.
  • Related to the general pain and suffering your symptoms caused you.
  • For the shock and trauma of going through an allergic reaction in a restaurant.

What Are Special Damages In Personal Injury Claims?

There are also special damages, which are the flip side of the coin, they are paid for non-physical losses. You might be trying to claim back some expenses already encountered. If you are, then you need to know that you must provide evidence in the form of receipts, bills, invoices, etc. to support your claim.

Special damages might cover:

  • To make up for reduced earning potential in the future due to ill health.
  • To cover any lost income that you incurred because you had to take time off work.
  • If you had to pay for private medical care out of your own pocket, you can try and claim this cost back.
  • For paying a nurse or other professional to care for you in your own home.
  • To reimburse you for ad-hoc expenses such as bus tickets or other travel costs.

The kinds of damages you claim for will depend on the unique circumstances of your claim. To get a rough idea of what they might be, please have a chat with one of our expert advisors today.

No Win No Fee Claims For An Allergic Reaction After Eating At A Mexican Restaurant

Have you come across the term No Win No Fee before? Maybe heard it in a radio advert or seen it on a billboard somewhere? You probably have a general idea of what it means, so here we will be more specific.

  • When you engage a solicitor under what is formally termed a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), you have entered into a contract with the solicitors for them to provide you with legal services, under the following fee schedule:
  • There won’t be a fee at the start of the claim, similar to a retainer.
  • Regardless of how long the claim takes to process, the solicitor won’t ask you for any fees during the claim.
  • If the claim fails, and you win no compensation, the solicitor won’t try to collect their fee.

If you do win your claim, and the solicitor has received a compensation payment for you, then they will ask that you pay a (legally limited) success fee, which can be collected automatically. For a much more detailed explanation of how a CFA works, call and speak to an advisor.

Talk About Your Case With Our Team

Have you suffered an allergic reaction after eating at a Mexican restaurant that was not your fault? Do you think that the restaurant operator or their staff might be liable in some way?

If you have experienced an allergic reaction because staff in a restaurant failed to provide you with access to or inform you of the correct information, then you can contact our claims team online using our claim form or our live chat service.

Or you can call us on 0800 073 8804. One of our expert advisors will go through the details of your claim with you, evaluate it and let you know whether it is viable or not. They can then arrange for one of our solicitors to begin working on your claim for you.

Useful Guidance

These other guides elsewhere on our site may prove useful to you:

Checking these external links could also be of value:

Would you like to speak to an adviser about claiming for an allergic reaction after eating at a Mexican restaurant? You are welcome to contact Legal Expert for help using the contact details included in this guide.

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