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Chicago Food Allergy Litigation

A food allergy is an abnormal immune response to certain foods, where the body’s immune system mistakenly identifies specific food proteins as harmful. Upon exposure, the immune system triggers a range of reactions, which can vary from mild to severe.

Common Allergens

People can be allergic to many things, but the main culprits include:

  • Peanuts and Tree Nuts: Includes almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc.
  • Milk: Cow’s milk protein can trigger reactions.
  • Eggs: Usually the white, but sometimes the yolk.
  • Wheat: Contains gluten and other proteins that can cause allergies.
  • Soy: Common in processed foods.
  • Fish and Shellfish: Includes shrimp, crab, lobster, and various fish species.

Symptoms of Food Allergies

Symptoms typically appear within minutes to a few hours after consuming the allergen and can include:

  • Hives
  • Swelling (angioedema)
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Anaphylaxis (a severe, potentially life-threatening reaction)

How to Manage Food Allergies

Managing food allergies involves a few key strategies.

  • Avoidance: The primary strategy for managing food allergies is strict avoidance of known allergens.
  • Emergency Plan: Individuals at risk of anaphylaxis should have an emergency action plan, including the use of epinephrine auto-injectors.
  • Monitoring: Regular follow-ups with an allergist to monitor the condition and adjust management strategies as needed.

Allergic Reactions in Chicago

Children under the age of 18 make up 65% of food allergy-related claims in Illinois.

Tree nuts and seeds were highest in the top four foods that caused anaphylactic reactions between 2009 and 2016.

Food Percentage
Eggs 0.0151%
Peanuts 0.0096%
Tree nuts and seeds 0.0461%

How Might You Accidentally Ingest an Allergen?

Despite knowing what you’re allergic to, and trying to avoid it at all costs, sometimes mistakes happen that cause you to experience an allergic reaction.

Eating Out

Dining in restaurants or at social events where food preparation is not under the individual’s control can increase the risk of accidental ingestion.

Examples include:

  • Miscommunication with restaurant staff about food allergies.
  • Assumptions that certain dishes are allergen-free based on appearance or common knowledge.
  • Lack of allergen-specific protocols in some dining establishments.

Changes in Product Formulation

Manufacturers may change the ingredients in their products without adequate consumer notice.

Examples may include:

  • Reformulated products that now include an allergen previously not present.
  • Lack of prominent notification about ingredient changes on packaging.


Cross-contamination happens when allergenic foods come into contact with non-allergenic foods, either directly or indirectly.

Examples include:

  • Using the same cutting board, knife, or kitchen appliance for both allergenic and non-allergenic foods without proper cleaning.
  • Shared fryers in restaurants where foods containing allergens are cooked with other foods.
  • Residual traces of allergens left on surfaces, utensils, or in food processing equipment.

Mislabeling or Inadequate Labeling

Incorrect or incomplete food labeling can lead to accidental ingestion.

Examples include:

  • Packaged foods that do not list all ingredients or use ambiguous terms that do not clearly indicate the presence of allergens.
  • Failure to update labels when recipes change.
  • Misleading packaging that suggests a product is allergen-free when it is not.

Hidden Ingredients

Allergenic ingredients may be present in foods but not easily identifiable.

Examples include:

  • Sauces, dressings, or marinades that contain allergens like soy, nuts, or dairy.
  • Processed foods with complex ingredient lists where allergens may be present in small amounts.
  • Additives and preservatives derived from allergenic sources.

How Can A Lawyer Help?

Navigating the legal system after an allergic reaction can be daunting. The Lange Law Firm is ready to work with you to simplify the process. Here’s how it works:

  • Understanding the Situation: The lawyer will listen to the details of the incident, including the nature of the allergic reaction, the circumstances leading to it, and the impact on the individual’s health and well-being.
  • Case Assessment: The lawyer will evaluate whether there is a viable legal claim based on the facts, such as negligence, product liability, or failure to warn.
  • Gathering Evidence: Collecting medical records, witness statements, photographs, and any other relevant evidence.
  • Expert Testimony: Consulting with medical experts, allergists, or food safety experts to support the claim and explain the severity of the allergic reaction.
  • Navigating the Legal System: Providing guidance through the legal process, explaining rights, and ensuring the client understands each step.
  • Emotional Support: Offering reassurance and support during a stressful time, helping the client feel heard and validated.

Call Today

If you or a loved one in Chicago has been impacted by food allergies, you don’t have to face it alone. The Lange Law Firm is dedicated to helping families like yours get the justice and support they deserve. Call us at (833) 330-3663 or message us online today to arrange your free consultation. Let our experienced team fight for your rights and help you secure the compensation you need. Reach out now and take the first step towards the support and justice you deserve.