Trade urged to check allergen procedures after restaurateur's manslaughter verdict

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

Peanut curry death hospitality trade warning

Related tags: Restaurant

Foodservice operators are being urged to check processes and procedures around allergen compliance after a restaurant owner was found guilty of and jailed for manslaughter following the death of one of his customers with a peanut allergy.

Paul Wilson, a bar manager from Helperby had asked for no nuts when he ordered a takeaway from the Indian Garden restaurant in Easingwold, North Yorkshire in January 2014. 

However, the 38-year-old suffered an anaphylactic shock after eating his food and later died at home.

At the trial of the restaurant’s owner Mohammed Zaman at Teesside Crown Court the jury heard he had replaced almond powder in recipes for cheaper groundnut mix which contained peanuts in a bid to save money.

The prosecution said Zaman had received ‘numerous warnings’ that he was risking his customers’ health, but ignored them. 

Yesterday (23 May) Zaman was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter and sentenced to six years in jail after a jury at Teesside Crown Court found him guilty in what is thought to be a first in a case of its kind. 

Allergen information

The Food Standards Agency, which oversaw the introduction of allergen legislation into foodservice in 2014, said it welcomed the verdict as it ‘highlights the importance of providing lifesaving food allergen information. 

“Since December 2014, all businesses are obliged by law to provide this information if the foods they serve contain any of the 14 specific allergenic ingredients. This enables those with food allergies to make safe food choices and avoid hospitalisation and potential death,” said a FSA spokesperson. 

Tarryn Gorre, co-founder of Kafoodle, a cloud-based menu management software system, said: "This tragic case will no doubt make the hospitality industry re-evaluate their processes and procedures surrounding allergen compliance.  Since the EU directive was released in December 2014 a lot of businesses have struggled in interpreting exactly what they need to do, to be compliant.” 

Gorre said back office systems could help businesses manage allergen compliance and confidently share the information with their customers.

Under the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation all foodservice businesses must list 14 allergens on menus or have their presence communicated by staff. 

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Restaurant magazine – digital edition

Restaurant magazine – digital edition

William Reed Business Media | 01-May-2020 | Sponsored Link

In light of the current circumstances and many businesses being closed during this period, Restaurant magazine will temporarily be going digital only....

Restaurant Media Pack 2020

Restaurant Media Pack 2020

William Reed Business Media | 27-Jan-2020 | Technical / White Paper

The Restaurant portfolio continues to be the essential source of news and information for those working within the restaurant industry, helping to navigate...

Sustainability Report

Sustainability Report

William Reed Business Media | 27-Jun-2019 | Technical / White Paper

Six areas to make your restaurant more sustainable.

From growing herbs on the wall to using ethical dairy suppliers, we run-down the key...

Creative development in the kitchen

Creative development in the kitchen

Nestlé Professional | 19-Jun-2019 | Technical / White Paper

Produced by Restaurant magazine in partnership with Nestlé Professional’s CHEF® brand, Creative Development in the Kitchen explores how high-profile chefs...

Related suppliers


Follow us

Hospitality Guides

View more

Featured Suppliers

All suppliers