Restaurateur peanut manslaughter case 'serious warning' for pubs

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

Restaurateur manslaughter case is serious warning for sector

Related tags: Food safety, Allergy, Food standards agency, Food

A restaurateur's conviction of manslaughter by gross negligence should be a "serious warning" when it comes to food safety, leading experts have warned.

The restaurateur in question was jailed for six years after a customer died of a severe allergic reaction after ordering a nut-free curry.

Stuart Kelly, managing director of food safety experts Acoura, said: "This tragic case was caused by the operator using a spice substitute that contained peanuts. It's an abundantly clear warning to operators not to cut corners by choosing cheaper alternatives."

The Government has recently launched inquiries into undeclared use of nuts that are potentially life-threatening to allergy sufferers.


Lisa Ackerley, adviser to Acoura said: "Caterers need to be vigilant about what goods they order and check the products when they receive them. Many businesses may be tempted to buy cheaper ingredients but my message is 'beware'. 

"You get what you pay for and if it's too good to be true then there's something wrong with it. Putting the issue of fraud aside, if a supplier sells a product that isn't what they say it is, in many cases, substitutions – and adulterated products can be dangerous."

The British Hospitality Association announced yesterday the launch of new industry guide to help operators avoid potentially dangerous situations – the first update to food safety guidelines in 20 years​.


Kelly added: "Make sure that you are totally confident about the ingredients in your dishes. Consumers have a basic human right to know about ingredients and will ask questions about allergens. 

"If you don't know, or conceal the truth, you risk facing criminal action and the potential illness and death of your customers."

The Food Standards Agency announced plans this morning (25 May) to develop a new model for food controls.

Different levels of support and scrutiny would be necessary for different businesses, it said, adding that whereas previously enforcement consisted of little more than inspections, it would be necessary in future for regulators to take into account and review all available sources of information to determine compliance.

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