Allergies in the restaurant – restaurateurs should be on guard

Consumers suffering from food allergies are required to inform the person who accepts the order. Therefore, the responsibility of this person is excellent knowledge of the ingredients of the dishes served. 

The problem of food allergies in recent years has increased significantly – there are more and more cases of allergy to various foods. Therefore, restaurateurs should be on guard and just in case ask the customer ordering whether he is allergic or preventively inform about the content of potential allergens in the dish. Is this not an exaggeration? Perhaps, but the courts issue very strict judgments regarding the protection of health and life of consumers. 


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Peanuts – one of the most common allergens 

An example of such a judgment is that the owner of a British restaurant is found guilty of the death of a client who consumed a curry prepared with the addition of groundnuts for which he was allergic. The client informed about his allergy, but the officially chosen dish was to be prepared from almonds. A restaurateur wanting to cut costs has used a cheaper substitute for peanuts. The man died due to anaphylactic shock after eating the ordered dish. The decisive circumstance was that the man clearly indicated when ordering that the dish could not contain peanuts. Without this annotation, the judgment of the English court could have been completely different. 

Not just nuts 

Anaphylactic shock is the most dangerous form of food allergy. In most cases, fortunately, mild skin and gastrointestinal symptoms appear, requiring a doctor’s visit and the use of medications to alleviate ailments. The allergist is obliged to inform the person receiving the order about what he is allergic to. Otherwise, he can not claim damages effectively because the restoration can not be attributed to the restoration. 

Reimbursement, or compensation 

The aggrieved restaurant client may apply for reimbursement of treatment costs. Two documents – a medical certificate from the day of the visit and a receipt from the restaurant – from the same day are enough to prove that there was an allergy due to the fault of the restaurateur. You have to prove that the waiter was informed about the allergy. Among other things, for this reason, it is worth going to a restaurant with family or friends. The injured client may apply for a refund 

– access and visits to the doctor 

– purchase of medicines 

– others related to treatment 

In addition, the patient who is on sick leave loses part of the income. Evidence, i.e. receipts, invoices and pay slips are needed to prove the amount of compensation. As a rule, the restaurateur goes back to his own pocket. However, it may happen that the compensation will be paid by the insurer. 

Third party liability insurance for restaurateurs 

Restaurateurs are not obliged to insure against civil liability for doing business. Nevertheless, some prefer to blow on cold. The liability insurance does not always cover the costs of compensation, because the insurer is not always obliged to pay it – the insurance company is not liable for all circumstances. Restaurateurs should be on the alert and follow the changing regulations, especially the EU ones. 

Passing the obligation on restaurateurs 

Restaurateurs are obliged to inform their clients about potential allergens occurring in their meals from December 13, 2014 – then came into force Regulation No. 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, owners of all eating places. Information about allergens should be included in the menu sheet in the appropriate position either on a separate sheet or on the information board. 

Restaurateurs, owners of bars and cafes should post information about typical allergens in the menu. The composition of the dish should be given only if it includes any products that are classified as allergens. As an example, you can point to crustaceans and molluscs (seafood), fish, nuts, milk, eggs, celery, soy, gluten, mustard, sesame, lupine, sesame, sulfur dioxide. 


You can read also: Peanuts – evil incarnate ?

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