Restaurateur fined after allergy risk ignored

20 July, 2021

A restaurant in Derby has been fined after a customer with a peanut allergy suffered a severe reaction after eating a takeaway in July last year.

The customer had advised the takeaway staff of their allergy when they ordered by telephone. After eating the food, the customer had to use their EpiPen and was then taken to hospital by ambulance for treatment.

At Derby Magistrates Court, the restaurateur admitted supplying food that was unsafe because it contained an allergen, contrary to the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations 2013. The restaurant's Director also admitted the same offence.

The company was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 costs. The Director was fined £320 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000 and a victim surcharge.

After receiving a complaint from the customer, a Derby City Council trading standards officer ordered the same meal from the restaurant, requesting it should be made without peanuts.

When the meal arrived, the restaurant was made aware the customer was from trading standards and samples were taken from the food.

When the samples were analysed, peanuts were found.

Following the hearing, Cllr Jonathan Smale, Derby City Council’s cabinet member for place and community development, said: “Food allergies can have potentially fatal consequences for consumers. It is, therefore, vitally important food businesses have robust systems in place to ensure they know what is in the food they serve. This prosecution demonstrates our commitment to protecting consumers when those systems have clearly failed.”

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