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Lawyer welcomes fine after restaurant allergy reaction

The lawyer for a teenager who nearly died after being served food containing peanuts at a restaurant in Tynemouth, near Newcastle has welcomed a fine imposed by the Courts on the owners of Gulshan Indian Kitchen, Grill & Cocktail Bar.

28 November 2019

The owners of the restaurant were fined after serving the dish containing peanuts despite repeatedly reassuring the 15-year-old and her family that it was safe to eat.
 
North Tyneside Magistrates' Court was told that the girl’s family were made to pay for their meal by staff before they took her for treatment.
 
The victim was given adrenaline and discharged the following day.
 
The court fined Gulshan, Sonero Tynemouth Ltd, £3,767 and ordered them to pay £2,744 costs and £1,000 compensation after the company pleaded guilty to breaching section 14 (1) of the Food Safety Act 1990.
 
Ian Palmer, from North Tyneside Council, said the victim and her family booked a table on November 10, 2018 after assurances over the phone that they could cater for her nut allergy.
 
On arrival, they were again reassured and the teenager ordered a chicken masala curry.
 
'Within two or three mouthfuls, she suffered an allergic reaction,' Mr Palmer said.
 
'She began to feel unwell and her tongue began to tingle and swell.'
 
The girl was taken to hospital and, after being transferred to NSEC, was released the following day after an adrenaline injection.
 
Meanwhile, officers from the local authority's food safety team found that the meal contained a peanut protein of a level capable of causing a reaction in someone with a nut allergy, Mr Palmer said.
 
Stuart Athey, defending, said Mr Rahman couldn't be more sorry for what had happened and dramatic improvements had been made since.
 
Phil Scott, head of Environment, Housing and Leisure, at North Tyneside Council, said:

'It's hugely important that people with food allergies have the confidence that regulations are being followed.
 
'We've all seen the media reports of the tragic deaths caused by reactions to food so these issues should be a priority for all food establishments.
 
'As demonstrated by this case, our team will not hesitate to prosecute where necessary but will also provide advice and support to ensure businesses are compliant.'
 
Angela Bruno, food safety lawyer at Leigh Day who represents the teenager said:
 
“Compliance with food safety law is absolutely crucial and we are pleased that non-compliance is being treated seriously by the Courts. Our client is severely allergic to peanuts and this was communicated to the restaurant a number of times. Nevertheless she was served a dish containing peanut protein and as a result she suffered a severe allergic reaction. It is imperative that diners feel safe when eating out and their lives are not endangered.’

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