A restaurant in Barrow and one of its directors have been fined £2,935 for serving a customer suffering from a peanut allergy a meal containing peanut protein.
Hoi Yeung Yung, director of Shengs (Barrow) Ltd, 37 – 39 Ainslie Street, Barrow in Furness and the company were fined £2,935 and ordered to pay £3,121.90 in costs and a £250 victim surcharge at Barrow Magistrates Court on Monday 19 November after pleading guilty to selling unsafe food and food that was not of the nature demanded; an offence under the Food Safety Act 1990.
The offence came to light after a complaint from a local resident, whose daughter was taken ill after suffering anaphylactic shock after eating a takeaway from the restaurant. The victim was awarded £250 in compensation.
The court heard that on 9 February 2018 a Szechwan Chicken Chow Mein meal had been ordered, it had been specified that it must be free from peanuts as the consumer suffered from a nut allergy. After eating one small mouthful the consumer had an instant allergenic reaction resulting in swollen lips and tightening of the throat.
Cumbria County Council Trading Standards sampled the same dish and found it contained peanut protein.
The Public Analyst confirmed that there was sufficient quantity to present a real hazard to anyone suffering from a nut allergy.
Cllr Celia 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.”