A food allergy is an adverse physical reaction to a certain food or food group that can cause discomfort, pain, and even death. In the United States, a significant portion of the population has been diagnosed with some type of food allergy. It is estimated that approximately 4% of the population, or 12 million people, have food allergies.
People who are diagnosed with a food allergy are typically given a list of foods to avoid. When patients fail to follow their doctor’s recommendation, or when food manufacturers and restaurants are not forthcoming about their ingredients, a severe allergic reaction may result.
People who experience an allergic reaction may have mild or aggressive symptoms, depending on how sensitive the allergy is and how much of the offending food was eaten. Some individuals only ever develop mild symptoms, such as a red rash and itchy skin or eyes. Others have a more serious reaction that may include vomiting, diarrhea, or anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that makes it difficult for a person to breathe. If the allergy attack is not treated in time, an individual can go into shock and may die.
Because of the frequency and severity of allergic reactions, food manufacturers are required to report whether any of the major food allergens are present in their products. If you ingested a food allergen that was not reported by a restaurant or food manufacturer, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries and damages caused by your allergic reaction. Consider contacting a personal injury attorney immediately to help hold the liable parties accountable and protect your interests in court.