Food allergies may develop from a number of different food proteins, also known as food allergens, which can have a severe effect on an allergic individual. An estimated 12 million Americans have food allergies that range from causing mild discomfort to life-threatening anaphylaxis. Under U.S. law, food manufacturers must report on their packaging whether the food product contains a major food allergen. When food manufacturers fail to properly notify potential consumers of food allergens, they violate the law and put individuals at risk of a severe allergic reaction.
Food manufacturers must include information on their packaging regarding whether common food allergens are present, which includes any of the “big eight” allergens. These are: dairy, egg, peanut, tree nut, seafood, shellfish, soy, and wheat (gluten). These eight allergens are targeted because together they are responsible for over 90% of all American food allergies. Individuals who know that they are allergic or suspect that they are allergic to any of these foods should inspect all packaging to minimize the risk of ingesting the allergen.
Sometimes many food products are manufactured in the same facility. Even though one food product may not contain peanuts, for example, it may be produced in a facility that produces products with peanuts. This leaves the possibility of cross-contamination, where peanuts for one product are accidentally introduced into another product, thereby making it unsafe for consumption by individuals with a peanut allergy. If this information isn’t reported on the packaging, a person with a severe allergy could suffer health complications and even death if the allergic attack is not immediately treated.
If you have suffered from an allergic attack because a food product did not appropriately warn you of the allergens it contained, the food manufacturer may be responsible for injuries and damages and you may be entitled to compensation. For legal advice and assistance with your food allergy claim, please contact an attorney of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, today at 800-242-2874.