A reader asks:

Are their laws against serving Pork to Muslims? I am a Muslim and I asked for a beef meal and was served pork. What can I do?

If it was just a mistake or one time error, the answer is you can probably do nothing.  Mistakes happen and while we understand that eating pork would greatly offend a Muslim, some Jewish people, vegetarians, etc., we don’t think a jury would have much sympathy for a one time victim.  The exception would be if you told the waiter you were allergic to something and you ended up being served a food that caused you a major problem, e.g. you said you had a peanut allergy and ended up in the hospital because the food contained crushed up peanuts.

On the other hand, if a restaurant fails to properly describe what is in their products their might be a case.   The classic example is when a group of people from the Hindu religion sued McDonalds because it was discovered that french fries which were supposed to be cooked in vegetable oil were actually cooked in oil that had a beef stock in it.  Hindu’s do not typically eat beef and their claim was successful because it was based on false advertising.

You probably would not have a successful case against a local “mom and pop” bakery if they didn’t properly label their food.  It’s unlikely the harm in that case would be big enough to justify the costs of a suit.  But if the restaurant is a large chain then the damages would affect more people.  Fortunately, since the McDonalds case it does appear that most restaurants have gotten the message as we haven’t heard of a similar case in years.

Since 2001, illinoislawyers.com has been the leading resource for Illinois attorney referrals and legal guidance. If you would like our help please contact one of our lawyers via our on-line form or call (800) 517-1614. We are based in Chicago, but help people find attorneys for legal matters throughout Illinois.  All inquiries are free and confidential