[A] Carlisle takeaway restaurant owner has been ordered to pay £5,957.22 in fines, costs and compensation after serving a customer suffering from a peanut allergy a meal containing peanut protein.
Rafu Miah, Director of Sizzling House Ltd, of Parkside in Belah, was fined £800 and ordered to pay the victim £1,000 compensation and £4,157.22 in costs at Carlisle Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to an offence under the Food Safety Act 1990.
The offence came to light after Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards department responded to a complaint from a local resident who was taken to hospital after suffering anaphylaxic shock having eaten a takeaway meal ordered from the restaurant. The court heard it had been specified when the takeaway was ordered that the meal should be free from nuts.
Cumbria Trading Standards sampled the same dish and under analysis it was found to contain peanut protein. The Public Analyst confirmed that there was sufficient quantity to present a real hazard to anyone who suffered from a nut allergy. The lady who suffered the allergic reaction said she would never eat a takeaway meal again.
Cllr Ceilia Tibble, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for Trading Standards, said: “It is vitally important that food outlets understand food allergies and the importance of preventing any cross-contamination occurring in their kitchens. To those who suffer from a peanut allergy, even a tiny amount of peanut protein contained within food can have devastating consequences.”
John Greenbank, Cumbria Trading Standards Manager, said: “We would urge food businesses to be aware of allergens when preparing meals. This sentence should act as a warning that cases like this are treated extremely seriously by the courts.”