Last week Happy Planet Foods, Inc. ordered a large-scale recall of its
chocolate banana protein smoothies after a
food safety investigation revealed that the product contained cashews. The nuts were not declared
on the label, which posed a
significant health risk to consumers who purchased it.
Food allergies are the immune system’s response to a specific food
Allergic reactions range in severity from itching and hives to anaphylactic shock and death.
Food allergies are more prevalent among children, and while a majority
outgrow the allergy over time, many have to monitor their allergies for
the rest of their lives.
In Maryland, food establishments are required to prominently display a
poster relating to
food allergy awareness in the staff area. The poster must also include information about the
risk of allergic reactions.
law that went into effect last year requires employees who take food orders
to ask a customer to inform him or her of any known food allergies. The
request can be either:
• Included on the menu; or
• Made by the employee taking the customer’s order.
Food establishments in Maryland must also have an employee on the premises
when food is being prepared who:
• Has completed a food allergen awareness training course;
• Has passed a department-approved and accredited test; and
• Is available to discuss meal options with customers who have food
In order to facilitate this rule, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
must make available on its website:
• A list of approved online and in-person food allergen awareness
training programs and tests; and
• A list of resources about food safety and food handling as they
relate to food allergies.
Federal law also requires food manufacturers to disclose the presence of the most
common allergens that may be contained in their products, such as:
Products that contain these ingredients must be labelled appropriately,
with the word “contains” printed after the list of ingredients,
followed by the name of the allergen. Alternatively, a manufacturer can
list the common name of the allergen in the ingredients list, followed
by the food source from which it is derived.
The only exceptions to the labeling rules are when:
●The name of the allergen contains the name of its food source; or
●The name of the food source from which the allergen derives is printed
somewhere else on the label.
When products are improperly labelled and a person suffers an allergic
reaction as a result, the food manufacturer or food service establishment,
such as a restaurant, can be held liable for the victim’s medical
costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You
If you have suffered an allergic reaction or lost a loved one due to a
food allergy that was the result of a manufacturer or food establishment’s
negligent actions, an experienced attorney may be able to help you obtain
compensation for the harm you suffered. Please contact the
Charles County, Maryland personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Robert R. Castro for a free initial consultation.