In two unrelated incidents, two restaurant owners have received substantial court fines this month, following successful prosecutions after their customers suffered severe allergic reactions as a result of being served their allergens in error.
In Wellingborough, a woman had called the Akash Tandoori last June to order a takeaway for her family, including her 19-year-old daughter who has a nut allergy. The woman was assured that the meal she ordered did not contain nuts, however, her daughter suffered a severe reaction 30 minutes after eating it and had to be taken to hospital for treatment.
An investigation by Northampton County Council Trading Standards found that a test meal later purchased and ordered nut-free, actually contained 2,000mg of peanut protein.
Restaurant owner Mohammed Uddin, 50, was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and will also have to complete 40 hours of community service. The restaurant was also fined £10,000.
In Chester, a customer with a sesame allergy had ordered an afternoon tea from Oddfellows bar in March 2019 after having made the venue aware of the allergy. The customer was served a sandwich containing sesame and suffered a severe allergic reaction resulting in a trip to hospital for emergency treatment.
The junior chef who had prepared the food had not understood that hummus contains sesame, despite having received allergy training. Food businesses in the UK have a legal duty to provide allergen information about any of the 14 major allergens when they are used as ingredients in the food and drink they provide.
Oddfellows pleaded guilty to the food safety offence and were fined £2000 and ordered to pay £500 compensation, a £170 victim surcharge, and a cost of £1704.
For Allergy Awareness Training go to www.allerywise.org.uk