Gluten Allergy – The Facts
Coeliac disease is a medical condition thought to be suffered by around 1 in 100 people in the UK, in which the body produces an immune response to gluten, and attacks your own body tissues. This can be dangerous, and causes damage to the gut and lining of the small intestine. When your small intestine becomes injured, your body is not able to properly absorb enough nutrients from food. Eventually, this can lead to malnourishment, as well as loss of bone density, miscarriage, infertility or even neurological diseases or certain cancers.
Coeliac disease is caused by an adverse autoimmune reaction to gluten, a protein which is found in all wheat, barley, and rye products. Many people who do not have coeliac disease, or are newly diagnosed with coeliac disease, are unaware just how many types of food contain gluten.
Gluten is found in the following food groups, meaning that those suffering from coeliac disease must strictly avoid the following foods (unless they're gluten free):
most types of bread
certain types of sauces
some ready meals
many vegetarian meat substitutes
While it is mainly foods that contain gluten, most beers contain barley and therefore should be avoided by those suffering from coeliac disease
What is an Allergy to Gluten?
A gluten food allergy is when a person is allergic to the protein found in barley, wheat and rye. Allergic reactions are suffered when a person consumes gluten or inhales wheat flour. The allergic reaction is caused when the body’s immune system mistakes gluten as a threat and attacks it, causing sever symptoms to the individual.
Gluten is present in lots of foods such as bread, cakes and biscuits but it can also be present in more unexpected foods such as ice creams, sauces and pre-packaged food.
As gluten is present in so many different types of food, it is essential for a person with this allergy to check the labels on food and check with restaurant staff before eating to ensure they do not consume gluten.
An individual who has a gluten allergy and consumes gluten either by pre-packaged food not labelled as containing gluten or is given food containing gluten at a restaurant where the staff were aware of the allergy and has suffered a reaction to the allergen you may be able to make a claim. Speak to one of our personal injury solicitors by calling us on 01772 783314, through our website, here, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some examples of gluten allergy cases that could lead to a claim:
An individual dines at a restaurant and inform the staff of their allergy before ordering the food. The restaurant staff do not inform the kitchen staff of this allergy, or the kitchen staff fail are negligent in the preparation. The individual is served with food containing gluten and suffers an allergic reaction;
An individual allergic to gluten asks a food vendor if the food contains gluten, the vendor says no, when in reality the food does contain gluten and the individual suffers an allergic reaction from the food;
An individual with a gluten allergy purchases pre-packaged food from a shop in which gluten is not listed as an ingredient so they consume the food and actually it contains gluten so they suffer an allergic reaction.
These are just a few examples of when a third party’s negligence can cause an individual to suffer gluten allergy symptoms. If you believe that the negligence of a third party has caused you to suffer in this way, then you may well have a claim.
What are the symptoms of gluten exposure in someone with Coeliac Disease?
Many people who confuse a coeliac disease with gluten intolerance also mistake the symptoms of the two as being interchangeable. However, this is not the case. Coeliac disease is not a food allergy or intolerance, but is an autoimmune disease.
For those suffering from a gluten allergy, exposure to gluten can cause an auto immune response, where their immune system attacks the healthy body tissues in their gut, causing damage to the stomach lining. This can cause serious long-term damage to the stomach lining that is not suffered by those with a gluten intolerance.
While up to 13% of people might suffer from a gluten intolerance of some degree, coeliac disease affects only around 1% of the population, with the process of being diagnosed with coeliac disease taking on average around 13 years for patients.
Coeliac disease is a serious medical condition, and it can be dangerous for those suffering to eat even a small amount of gluten. The signs of Coeliac disease that are related to the body’s inability to properly digest food, include:
Bloating and gas
However, there are also medical signs that coeliac sufferers experience that are not directly related to the digestive system. These other symptoms of Coeliac disease can include:
Headaches and fatigue
Bone and joint pain
Acid reflux and heartburn
If you suffer from coeliac disease and have been affected in any way due to being given incorrectly labelled food, or food containing undeclared gluten, you could make a no win no fee claim for financial compensation with our food allergy claim solicitors.
Simply contact our team online here, and speak to a solicitor specialising in gluten allergy compensation claims. When we accept your gluten allergy claim, on a no win no fee basis, we will start work immediately.
Gluten Allergy FAQs
As of October 1st 2021, food businesses are now legally required to provide a full list of all ingredients and allergens on their pre-packaged food items. Before this, there was no requirement for food items packaged onsite in a food establishment to carry a full list of ingredients, and it was up to the customer to ask a member of staff about allergen information.
This comes under a new legislation known as Natasha’s Law. The new legislations requires all food businesses to provide full ingredient lists and allergen labelling on foods prepared and packaged on the same premise they are sold. This will stand for all pre-packaged food items, even those that have been made on the premises earlier the same working day.
This means that if you buy any form of pre-packaged food from an establishment, whether it be a bakery, cafe, independent food shop, or a sandwich shop, any allergens, such as gluten, must be clearly displayed, and allergens highlighted. If you have bought food of any kind that has gluten in it that was not declared on the packaging, you could be able to make a no win no fee coeliac disease claim for financial compensation with our specialist no win no fee solicitors.
For a food product to be labelled as gluten free by law, it must not contain any more than 20ppm (parts per million) of gluten. If the product is labelled incorrectly and you suffer gluten allergy symptoms as a result of incorrect labelling, then you may be able to claim compensation for your gluten allergy.
With the new introduction of Natasha’s Law earlier this year, this new legislation means that food businesses will have a legal obligation to include a number of pieces of information about their food on the packaging.
An emphasis of all the allergenic ingredients (including gluten)
A full ingredient list
The name of the food
This means that if you are buying a food product that is packaged, it is a legal requirement for any gluten included in the product to be clearly declared on the packaging. If you have suffered as a result of undeclared gluten in food, then the establishment that sold the product to you is in breach of Natasha’s Law, and could well be liable in a coeliac compensation claim.
Gluten intolerance can have some similarities to gluten allergy such as they both cause the body to have a negative reaction to gluten, however the consequences for a person with a gluten allergy ingesting gluten are much more severe.
When someone with a gluten allergy ingests gluten their immune system attacks its own soft tissue, however, with an intolerance, long-term harm does not occur.
Subject to the Limitation Act of 1980, if you have suffered due to a gluten allergy reaction after exposure to gluten, then this is classed as a form of personal injury, and you have three years to pursue a claim for compensation. There are exceptions, for those under 18 years old at the time of the injury, in that minors have three years from their 18th birthday within which to make a personal injury claim, until their 21st birthday.
Time limits may differ if you are acting on behalf of someone with limited mental capacity if you are acting as guardian or subject a lasting power of attorney. If you have any questions or queries, then please do not hesitate to contact one of MG Legal’s personal injury experts, here.
If you are eating out at a restaurant, and have coeliac disease, the key to eating out safely is to communicate with restaurant staff to explain your requirements. As gluten allergies and coeliac disease become more widely known, more and more eating establishments and restaurants are adapting their menus to contain gluten free options and ensure that food handling in their kitchens is in place to cater to those with coeliac disease and a strict gluten free diet.
Since 2014, it has been a legal requirement for establishments to be able to provide customers with the relevant information regarding any use of gluten in their dishes. This can be done written or orally, but must be clearly noted on the menu if customers have to ask a member of staff for the information.
Many restaurants and food establishments will now ask ahead of time as part of the online booking process whether or not there are any allergies or food conditions within the part of customers. When this is the case, the original booking form and information can be used by our specialist solicitors in any subsequent coeliac compensation claims made by our clients.
If you have suffered in any way after been wrongly served gluten in a restaurant, then do not hesitate to get in touch with our specialist no win no fee solicitors today, and learn how you can make a claim for financial compensation at no financial risk.
The effects of gluten consumption for those suffering with a gluten allergy can vary hugely in severity, complexity, and prognosis time. The expected compensation for the pain and suffering alone, known as general damages, can be estimated using the Judicial College guidelines. To learn how much your coeliac compensation claim might be worth, contact our specialist solicitors online here.
However, you could achieve further compensation for fractures, known as special damages. These cover:
Loss of any earnings during recovery
Potential loss of earnings for any long-term or permanent damage
If you have suffered in any way because of a food product containing undeclared gluten, or being wrongly advised that your food was gluten free, you might be wondering what to do next. Our specialist coeliac injury solicitors explain below:
1. Seek immediate medical attention- obviously, you know your coeliac disease better than anybody else, and your health and safety is the most important thing. If you have suffered in any way due to coeliac disease after undeclared gluten in food, you should always visit your local GP or A&E department for medical. treatment, depending on the severity of your symptoms. This is the best possible way that you can ensure that your symptoms are treated properly, as well as to ensure that the injuries are recorded in your medical records, making it easier to pursue your subsequent coeliac compensation claim for undeclared gluten.
2. Keep any remnants of the food, and any packaging- It is important to always keep any remnants of the food, or the packaging food safe, as this can make it much easier to prove your foreign object in food compensation claim.
3. Keep any receipts- If you have receipts of your purchase, or a note on a booking confirmation, or declaration of your coeliac to the establishment make sure to keep these safe, or have screen shots of them.
4. Make a formal complaint to the shop or restaurant and the FSA- it is important to make whoever you bought the food from aware of the incident, in order to prevent it happening to more people, as well as reporting it to the FSA. This step needs to be taken before making a compensation claim with our no win no fee solicitors.
5. Get in touch with a specialist injury solicitor- in order to pursue legal action, and begin your foreign object in food claim for financial compensation, you should contact a specialist solicitor as soon as possible. Here at MG Legal, our solicitors specialising in coeliac compensation claims can offer you a free, no-obligation discussion with a solicitor to establish whether you have a potential claim, and will always accept your claim on a NO WIN NO FEE basis.
If you are looking to pursue a claim for financial compensation if you have suffered after eating undeclared gluten, the first step is to get in touch with a specialist coeliac claims solicitor who can work on your claim. The personal injury claims process can be complex and confusing, especially for food related claims, and you need the legal expertise and help of a fully qualified and experienced solicitor. Simply get in touch with a specialist solicitor at MG Legal, here, and you will hear back from us within one working hour.
After an initial, no-obligation discussion with a solicitor about your potential claim, MG Legal will get a simple claim form sent out for you to fill in and get back to us, and we can begin building your compensation claim on the same working day. The process of making a claim can seem overwhelming, but with the help of our specialist solicitors, it will be entirely stress-free for you as our client.
Anaphylaxis and Potentially Fatal Reactions
For those living with a gluten intolerance, their allergy may cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis, if they eat wheat. Anaphylaxis may cause swelling or tightness of the throat, chest pain or tightness, leading to difficulty breathing.
Unfortunately, our solicitors do come across this on a regular basis, and many of the clients we have won compensation for, have suffered a bad reaction after eating out, and have been hospitalised, as a result of a restaurant's negligence.
What are 4 possible signs of anaphylaxis?
Constriction of the airways and a swollen tongue or throat, which can cause wheezing and trouble breathing. A weak and rapid pulse. Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Dizziness or fainting.
When an allergic reaction results in either full toxic shock syndrome or anaphylaxis, if either are left untreated, they can be fatal. Immediate medical treatment will be required, this is why consuming gluten as an individual with a gluten allergy is so dangerous.
If you have a gluten allergy and have suffered from anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock due to gluten in your food, speak to one of our personal injury solicitors by calling 01772 783314, through our website or by emailing email@example.com.
Can I make a personal injury claim for undeclared gluten in food with a Gluten Allergy?
Put simply, yes. If you have bought a food product from any type of establishment that had gluten as an ingredient, that was undeclared on the packaging and ingredient list of the food, and have suffered injury or illness as a result, then you could be able to make a no win no fee claim for financial compensation.
If you suffer from a gluten allergy, our specialist solicitors know that exposure to gluten, even if it is only traces of gluten in a food product, can be a medical emergency, and that it can have a long-term impact on your health and well-being.
On top of simply failing to declare gluten on the ingredient list, there are cases where a food product is directly labelled as ‘gluten-free’ and advertised as being safe for those with gluten allergies and suffering from coeliac disease, has traces of gluten in it.
Missed coeliac diagnosis claims:
A coeliac misdiagnosis claim is essentially a claim for financial compensation because of a medical misdiagnosis you have received for your coeliac disease. Here at MG Legal, claims for coeliac misdiagnosis compensation are carried out by specialist medical negligence solicitors. Generally speaking, there are three different types of coeliac misdiagnosis claims:
Incorrect coeliac diagnosis claim
The most obvious type of misdiagnosis, is where a medical professional takes note of your symptoms, but diagnoses the coeliac symptoms incorrectly as another condition.
Missed coeliac diagnosis claim
This occurs when a medical professional fails to diagnose any problem, despite you presenting recognised coeliac symptoms that should have required further testing or investigation.
Delayed coeliac diagnosis claim
This is where, through no fault of your own, your coeliac diagnosis is delayed, where appointments are pushed back, or blood test results are not properly read or followed up on.
Due to the broad range of symptoms that sufferers of coeliac disease present, the condition is often mistaken for a more minor condition, or IBS. However, our medical negligence solicitors have found that many GP's and medical professionals are severely under-educated on coeliac disease, and the average amount of time that it takes for a coeliac diagnosis after first presenting symptoms to a doctor is 13 years, with many patients not being diagnosed for up to 30 years.
If you have suffered from a missed coeliac diagnosis, or a coeliac misdiagnosis of any kind, and have not been referred for the correct tests after displaying symptoms, contact our no win no fee solicitors online today to see how we can help. Prolonged exposure to gluten for those suffering from coeliac disease can be extremely dangerous, and can lead to malnourishment, as well as loss of bone density, miscarriage, infertility or even neurological diseases or certain cancers. If this continued exposure is due to a medical misdiagnosis, you could be entitled to significant financial compensation.
How Can MG Legal Help with Gluten Allergy Claims?
Our personal injury solicitors have years of experience and are committed to providing you a first class service, get in touch with a member of our team by calling us on 01772 783314, through our website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and they will get the ball rolling on your no win, no fee gluten allergy compensation claim.