Last updated: 24.05.16

Restaurant owner jailed over allergy death

The importance of food hygiene and allergy training courses has been brought to light following the death of a restaurant customer who suffered an allergic reaction to a curry. 

Mohammed Zaman, the restaurant owner of the Indian Garden in Easingwold in North Yorkshire, was found guilty of manslaughter and will be jailed for six years.

According to the BBC, the court heard that Mr Zaman had been cutting corners when it came to the food served at the restaurant by using cheaper ingredients that contained peanuts.

Training courses and e-learning surrounding food allergies could be crucial to those working within the food and catering industry, by helping to save lives and create a broad and in-depth understanding of the matter by exploring the practical things which need to be considered to keep consumers safe.

Food Allergy Awareness Training courses can raise understanding of the impact for those consumers who are allergic to a particular food or ingredient and how to ensure consumers are well informed about their food choices.

In a landmark trial, although Mr Zaman denied the responsibility of the death of the customer who suffered severe anaphylactic shock, the jury believed otherwise.

Victim Paul Wilson, also from North Yorkshire, specifically asked for his meal to contain no nuts when ordering, which was also written as an instruction on his order on the lid of his takeaway.

Mr Wilson’s death came following another allergy incident three weeks before, where a customer bought a meal from one of Mr Zaman’s six restaurants and had a reaction which required hospital treatment.

It was believed that the restaurant owner had a "reckless and cavalier attitude to risk" and "put profit before safety".

Mr Zaman was found guilty of the death by gross negligence and six food safety offences. It was also revealed that he was in £300,000 in debt and tried to reduce costs by using cheaper nut power and by employing untrained and illegal workers.

It is hoped that this case will set a precedent for the rest of the food industry. 

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