Manslaughter charges after teenager dies due to allergic reaction to takeaway

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Manslaughter charges after teenager dies due to allergic reaction to takeaway
Two men have been charged with manslaughter after the death of a teenager who had an allergic reaction to a takeaway meal.

Fifteen-year-old Megan Lee died on 1 January, two days after she was admitted to hospital.

She had eaten food from Royal Spice takeaway in Hyndburn.

Lancashire Police said a post-mortem examination showed she had died from acute asthma due to a nut allergy.

Mohammed Kuddus, 39, of Blackburn and Harun Rashid, 38, of Haslingden are due to appear at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court on 4 January, the BBC has reported.

The pair are charged with manslaughter, failing to discharge general health/safety duty to a person other than an employee and contravening or failing to comply with EU provision concerning food safety and hygiene.

The company that owned Royal Spice has been charged with one count of failing to discharge general health/safety duty to a person other than an employee.

Royal Spice was temporarily closed by Hyndburn Council but is now trading under new ownership.

Serious concern

Since the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation came in to force in 2014​ all foodservice businesses have been required to list 14 allergens including nuts, gluten and mustard, on menus or have their presence communicated by staff.

Last year restaurant owner Mohammed Zaman was jailed for six years​ for manslaughter after the death of a customer with a peanut allergy in what was thought to be the first case of its kind.

The prosecution heard Zaman had replaced almond power in recipes for a cheaper groundnut mix which contained peanuts.

According to the Food Standards Agency, ​on average 10 people die and around 5,000 are hospitalised every year due to allergic reactions. Hospital admissions rose 87% from 2002-14 with the majority of cases caused by people being given incorrect information when eating out.

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