Suffered an Allergic Reaction to Chinese Food? Your Guide is here.

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Home > Claiming Compensation > Personal Injury > Allergy Claims > Suffered an Allergic Reaction to Chinese Food? Your Guide is here.

The Nation’s Love of Chinese Food

Generally, eating Chinese food is a national pastime and a real treat but if you have a food allergy and have suffered an allergic reaction to Chinese food it can be a terrifying experience with far reaching physical and psychological repercussions.

If you have suffered an allergic reaction at a Chinese restaurant or after ordering a takeout Chinese meal then there is every chance you could have a claim against the owners for failing to abide by general food law regulation and for failing to protect your safety.

In this guide we discuss all aspects of bringing a food allergy claim so that you can make an informed choice about what steps to take next and how to protect yourself from suffering an allergic reaction in the future.


What to do Following an Allergic Reaction from Chinese Food?

Food allergies are caused by an immune system reaction to a food protein that the human body mistakenly believes is a threat.

The reaction can cause a number of symptoms such as hives, itching, breath swelling, problems with the digestive system and even anaphylaxis, which is a potentially life-threatening condition.

Some people experience symptoms and allergies from birth while others may develop them later in life.

As solicitors specialising in allergy claims we know only too well it is a regular occurrence for clients to contact us after suffering anaphylactic shock following a take away or meal from a Chinese restaurant.

Depending upon the circumstances you may well be entitled to compensation for the allergic reaction you suffered to the food.

It’s necessary for you to be able demonstrate that the business which served you the food was responsible for the mistake.

  • To find out whether you could bring a successful claim call us today on 0800 652 0586 or you can complete our online enquiry form.
  • We will be able to assess your claim very quickly and if you like we can take over the reins and start straight away to bring your compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis .
  • Call us today to speak to one of our friendly solicitors who will be delighted to help you with any questions you may have about your Chinese food allergy claim.


How much is my Chinese Food Allergic Reaction Claim Worth?

Our experience of bringing food allergy claims has taught us there is quite a range of symptoms that you may have suffered from minor to serious allergic reaction and possibly even life-threatening.

The more serious the reaction and the longer your symptoms last (both physical and psychological) then as a general rule the higher the compensation will be.

Your personal injury solicitor will be able to advice about the quantification of your claim. Relevant questions dealing with how much compensation your claim is worth include the following:

  • Was a emergency treatment required and was the client hospitalised and if so for how long?
  • What were the range of health conditions that the client suffered such as breathing difficulties, facial swelling, abdominal pain, chest pain and did these constitute life threatening reactions.
  • Was the client off work and if so for how long?
  • Did you suffer an adverse psychological reaction to the reaction and if so was any formal intervention from a psychologist involved?
  • Have there been any long term effects from the symptoms suffered, for example, to your the immune system and what is the prognosis for the future?
  • Speak to us and we will be able to help you claim compensation and bring a no win no fee claim.


Food Allergies and Chinese Restaurants

Ordering food from Chinese restaurants and take ways when you have a food allergy can be, a complete lottery fraught with risks and possible danger.

Of course it doesn’t help when there is a language barrier as well to contend with.

It is important to remember that even if the menu confirms a dish does not contain any tree nuts, dairy or allergens, it may possibly have come into contact with contaminants during the food preparation.

  • For this reason, it is always best policy to inform the Chinese restaurant or take away staff of your allergy when ordering, so that they can take the necessary precautions.
  • As a starting point it’s always a good idea to specifically ask the Chinese Restaurant if they have an allergy menu so you can establish the foods you are able to eat without fear of triggering a response.
  • If you are allergic to shellfish or fish, the best advice may well be to avoid Chinese cuisine altogether. While shellfish and fish are not prevalent in Chinese dishes, they are sometimes used in seafood soup and other seafood-based dishes.
  • Unfortunately the customer is at the mercy of the staff at the Chinese food restaurant who may be busy or distracted and may not be concentrating fully on the details of your food allergy .
  • In the final analysis you are relying upon the staff to ensure you avoid foods that could lead to severe allergies. Unless the Chinese restaurant takes their health and safety responsibility seriously then there can clearly be disastrous consequences.


What can go Wrong when Ordering Chinese Food?

There are so many things that can go wrong for allergy sufferers which can lead to contaminated food while eating the many foods served in a Chinese restaurant.

  • For instance the Chinese restaurant’s menu could be unclear or misleading by failing to identify allergens in the various dishes.
  • Even if the menu is accurate there is then the risk of the chef or kitchen staff failing to follow the recipe leading to a life threatening reaction.
  • Then there is always the possibility of the waiting staff incorrectly recording your dietary requirements leading to a serious reaction.
  • There are of course a whole host of foods that can lead to an allergic reaction and severe symptoms including Chinese salad dressings, food additives, flavour enhancer, food containing msg such as monosodium glutamate msg and special fried rice to name just a few.
  • What ever has gone wrong it is important to seek immediate medical help for any negative reactions and then, when you are ready, advice from a specialist personal injury lawyer so you can look to claim compensation.


Your solicitor will want to make a detailed note about your reported reactions and the details of your food allergy so that a full quantum assessment can be made about the nature of your allergic reaction.


Types of Allergic Reactions caused by Chinese Food?

If you experience a Chinese restaurant food allergy, the reaction will probably occur within a few minutes after eating.

Symptoms of a food allergy can include:



Feeling dizzy

Chest pain

Itchy Rash

Runny nose


Swelling of the face, lips, tongue and throat

Watery itchy eyes


If you have a severe allergic reaction, you may experience anaphylaxis in which case urgent medical attention needs to be sought.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis include: psychological trauma, breathing difficulties with dizziness, feeling faint, hives, itching, nausea and/or vomiting, palpitations, red itchy eyes, slurring of speech, diarrhea, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

People with a severe allergy and food sensitivity to Chinese cuisine may also experience symptoms of a similar nature.


Do You have MSG Intolerance from “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome”?

“Monosodium Glutamate” (MSG) is a flavor enhancer, which can be added to some Chinese food, as well as other processed foods and soups.

Glutamic acid is one of the most common amino acids found in nature, and it is found in large amounts in soy, corn, wheat, cabbage, broccoli and peas.

MSG is added to food to improve the flavour and make it more appealing and it is used commonly in Chinese food.

The majority of people have nothing to worry about when consuming an added MSG intake and suffer no side effects from food containing MSG.

However there are some people who complain about a collection of negative symptoms such as migraines, sweating, dizzy spells, facial flushing, nausea and respiratory problems which can result in the development of monosodium glutamate intolerance and a monosodium glutamate allergy from many foods.

Some people may only experience mild symptoms of food sensitivity while others may have much more severe reactions. These symptoms are similar to those of an allergic reaction and tend to occur within two hours of consuming food containing monosodium glutamate.

These side effects are sometimes referred to as “Chinese restaurant syndrome” or “MSG Symptom Complex”. Experts believe eating food containing monosodium glutamate frequently over time can be the trigger for an MSG allergy.

Rather worryingly it seems there have been instances where anaphylactic reactions have been directly linked to eating food containing monosodium glutamate msg and this has lead to the term “MSG symptom complex”.

If you are diagnosed with a food intolerance to monosodium glutamate and/or MSG symptom complex then the only definite way of avoiding these ingredients is to buy unprocessed food and start cooking by scratch.

It’s clear to see that any trips out to a Chinese restaurant or any other fooderies could easily end up with you suffering with an allergic reaction.

It is also important to remember that monosodium glutamate msg as a flavor enhancer can be found in pre packaged foods in supermarkets. It is always wise to carefully check additive labels before eating foods if you have found consuming msg leads to a reaction.

If you have suffered an allergic reaction then Contact us now on 0800 652 0586 for free advice on Allergy Personal Injury Claims so we can help you on a No Win No Fee Claims basis 🙂


How to Protect Yourself from Suffering an Allergic Reaction at a Chinese Restaurant?

We are only too aware about the risks of suffering an allergic reaction when eating Chinese cuisine or indeed when eating out at any type of restaurant.

There are certain precautions that a food allergy sufferer can take to minimise the risks materialising.

  • First, of all it always makes sense to very carefully check the menu beforehand and then call to find out what the restaurant’s policy is on food allergy and labelling.
  • When you arrive specifically tell the manager you have an allergy so that the staff are made aware right from the start that special care needs to be taken with your meal.
  • When you come to order again it’s important that you tell the server about your allergy and ask the server about the ingredients in the dish you are interested in ordering. This will hopefully help you to identify any potential allergens.
  • If you have any doubts about the staff not understanding your requirements then it’s always best to check with the manager or even the head chef so that there are no crossed wires.
  • Similarly when the food is finally served it’s always a good thing to check and seek reassurance once more from a food allergies point of view.
  • There is always the option of inviting the Chinese restaurant to agree to you bringing your very own safe ingredients to use in your dish in an effort to avoid any allergic reactions.
  • If all else fails and you have any concerns at all it really is best to simply walk away.


Contact us and make a compensation call so you can benefit from all our experience in bringing allergy personal injury claims.


Allergic Reaction To Chinese Food – FAQ

What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction to food? 
The symptoms of allergic reactions to certain foods can include red itchy eyes, a runny nose, wheezing, coughing and sneezing as well as difficulty breathing. Anaphylactic shock is a medical emergency which can be life threatening and may also be triggered in the most serious of reactions.

How do I know if I have an allergy to Chinese food?
If you have symptoms after consuming Chinese food, you may have a msg allergy to one or more of the ingredients in the dish. If you have suffered some sort of reaction for the first time then an allergy skin test or blood test can confirm an allergy.

What should I do if I have an allergic reaction to Chinese food?
If you suffer a mild reaction, for instance itchy eyes or a runny nose, you can, subject to your doctor’s advice, try taking an antihistamine. If you have a more severe reaction for example after eating MSG, such as difficulty breathing, you should call the emergency services.

Is there a cure for an allergy to Chinese food?
There is no cure for an allergy to Chinese cuisine or MSG Symptom Complex, but avoiding the food additive(s) or offending ingredient(s) is the best way to prevent a reaction. If you suffer with a MSG symptom complex food allergy then you may also be advised by your doctor to carry at all times an epinephrine auto-injector.

What are the Treatment Options for an Allergic Reaction To Chinese Food?   
If you have a serious allergic reaction after eating Chinese food, you will need to receive emergency medical treatment. This may include epinephrine, oxygen, and IV fluids. You may also need to be hospitalised for observation and monitoring over an extended period.

Can Allergic Reactions To Chinese Cuisine Be Prevented?
Unfortunately there is no cast iron way  sure way to prevent an allergic reaction to Chinese food. There are steps you can take to minimise the risks involved (please see the section above which talks about protecting yourself) but ultimately the only safe way is to avoid eating Chinese food if you are allergic to it.

Remember you should always carry epinephrine with you just in case you have a serious allergic reaction.

In the final analysis if you have any doubts about whether the Chinese restaurant or takeaway is capable of providing you with safe food then you must walk away.


Now Let’s Proceed with Your Claim…..

Hopefully you can see we have all the necessary experience and expertise to help you with your claim.

If you take a moment to look at our Google Reviews then you will see we mean business!

Call us now on 0800 652 0586 so we can discuss what happened and how we can help you.

We promise to look after you and make sure we use all our claims experience to get you the result you deserve.