Mohammed Zaman, age 53 owner of Indian Garden in North Yorkshire, England was sentenced to 6 years in prison for manslaughter by gross negligence as a result of his customer’s fatal allergic reaction to the food served. He was also found guilty of six food safety offences.
Customer Paul Wilson, deceased at age 38, advised servers that he is allergic to peanuts and ordered a nut-free meal that was provided clearly marked “no nuts”. It was later determined that in an effort to cut costs, Zaman used groundnut powder containing peanut instead of more expensive almond powder in his food, and the meal contained very high level of peanut.
Zaman argued that this was not his fault, as his six restaurants were run by managers, not by him personally. Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, asked: “You choose to blame other people, Mr Zaman, rather than taking any responsibility yourself, and that is your approach to the case, isn’t it?” The defendant replied: “Yes, that is the reality.”
To make matters even worse, a previous customer almost died from his food and a Trading Standards investigation was ongoing at the time of Paul Wilson’s death after a 16-year-old girl was admitted to hospital for several days having suffered an allergic reaction after eating take out from one of Zaman’s other restaurants. The prosecutor commented that Zaman’s conviction, the first of its kind in Britain, sets an example around the world that restaurant owners should be held accountable for not meeting allergy needs.
Wilson was found dead on the bathroom floor by his roommate as a result of severe anaphylactic shock. For free training on how to treat anaphylactic shock, click here.
North Yorkshire Police’s Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Shaun Page, said: … “Paul’s death was avoidable and the outcome of this case sends a clear message to those who operate similar businesses that if they choose to operate in such a grossly negligent way, they are liable to prosecution as well as having to live with the potential deadly consequences.”
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http://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/16776 Accessed 30 May 2016
http://globalnews.ca/news/2720994/penny-pinching-restaurateur-jailed-after-peanut-allergy-customer-dies-from-no-nuts-dish/?sf26926438=1 Accessed 30 May 2016
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3012093/Curry-takeaway-owner-charged-manslaughter-customer-died-severe-peanut-allergy.html Accessed 30 May 2016
http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/crime/peanut-allergy-death-not-my-fault-says-yorkshire-curry-house-owner-1-7914496 Accessed 30 May 2016