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Food allergy in Tennessee that can cause injury or death

18 June 2009 1,731 views No Comment

According to legislative findings, it is estimated that approximately 2 percent of adults and about 5 percent of infants and young children in the United States suffer from food allergies; and, each year roughly 30,000 people require emergency treatment. Approximately 150 individuals suffer wrongful death each year because of allergic reactions to food. This life-threatening condition is called anaphylaxis.

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act requires food manufacturers in Tennessee and elsewhere to identify any of the eight major allergens associated with food. The listed food allergens are milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. An inaccurate communication about ingredients not actually present in the food may not give rise to liability; however, where an item is sold without proper warning, the manufacturer and/or seller may be liable for damages relating to any illness or injury created by a failure to warn of a defective product in Tennessee.

In fact, this is precisely why McDonald’s got into some trouble in February of 2006 when it admitted on its website that its French fries contained wheat after it had previously posted that its fries were “gluten-free.” After the post, a number of people suffering from celiac disease filed lawsuits for the injuries they sustained allegedly caused by the ingestion of McDonald’s fries.
More relevant to consumers in Tennessee, this week the manufacturer of Le Pain Quotidien’s Noir Belgian Dark Chocolate Spread recalled a number of its 14.15 oz. jars of Noir Belgian Dark Chocolate Spread because the product contains undeclared milk. Some people have allergies to milk and run the risk of a serious life-threatening reaction if they consume it.

If you, or someone you know, has been injured or made ill by a food ingredient that was not properly labeled, you may have an opportunity to seek damages or compensation. Restaurant owners and food manufacturers have a duty to clearly communicate to you any of the major eight food allergens that might be contained in their food product. If they fail to warn you of the food allergen, they are in violation of Tennessee’s product liability statutes. If injured, you should communicate with an experienced Sevierville product liability attorney who has the knowledge and resources to investigate your claim. Call Baker Associates today at 866-853-2888.

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