24th May 2016


 Issue No.  2016/12



Hot off the press - Food Safety Prosecution  

Owner of Indian takeaway guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence - sentenced to 6 years in prison.

Whilst this Information Update is aimed at our hospitality sector readers, who need to be aware of the potential serious consequences of ignoring food safety, we hope this gives our non-hospitality sector readers an awareness of this subject, which may prove useful if ever organising a works ‘do’, for example.

Information Updates 2014/08 and 2014/19 detailed the need for food business operators to provide information to customers if any of the foods or ingredients in the preparation of the food they supply contains allergens from a prescribed list. The reason for this is that serving food containing allergens to an unsuspecting allergy sufferer can have very serious consequences.

In this case a customer died as a result of suffering a severe anaphylactic shock after eating his chicken tikka masala takeaway meal.

The court heard that the owner of the takeaway had run up £294,000 debts in his restaurants so was substituting ingredients for cheaper alternatives, and in this case, almond powder had been switched for a cheaper groundnut mix, which contained peanuts.  So despite the customer’s “no nuts” instruction which was written on his order and on the lid of his takeaway container, he was served a product containing peanuts.

The owner of the Indian takeaway has been found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence along with six other food safety offences.  He has been sentenced to 6 years in prison.

The case acts as a stark reminder to all food business operators of the need to ensure that all allergen information is accurate and available in respect of food they supply.  It also acts as a reminder to ensure that staff are appropriately trained in allergen awareness and food hygiene, and that all documented food safety procedures are up to date and operational, and whilst in this case, there appears to have been a deliberate substitution of ingredients, it is nevertheless worth checking your cross contamination control measures are appropriate and all staff are trained and aware of cross contamination controls.

If you need help with any of the issues raised in this email, please call us on 03456 446 006. 





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