UK restaurant owner faces manslaughter charge in fatal peanut allergy case

The owner of an Indian restaurant accused of the manslaughter of a customer who suffered a fatal allergic reaction to peanuts after eating a meal is due to appear in court.

paul.wilson.peanut.allergyMohammed Zaman, 52, owner of the Indian Garden in Easingwold, North Yorkshire, is due to enter pleas at Teesside Crown Court today after he was charged over the death of Paul Wilson (right).

The 38-year-old customer suffered a severe anaphylactic reaction and died after buying a curry from the restaurant in January last year. It was claimed he requested no nuts.

As well as manslaughter by gross negligence, the restaurant boss is charged with perverting the course of justice by forging a food safety training certificate, an immigration offence relating to the employee who served the contaminated meal, and food safety offences.

Zaman, from Huntington, York, was granted bail at a previous hearing.

  • Some of these restaurants are staffed by people who don’t speak English well enough to do a proper job in an English-speaking country.

    I wonder whether the cook and waitstaff understood that “no nuts” includes “peanuts” as well as “tree nuts.”

    • Randy Lyons

      Peanuts and tree nuts are two completely different allergens, so the term “no nuts” would have been an inappropriate term to use for someone with a severe allergy. Although language may have played a role in this event, I have found that sometimes the customer lacks basic information on their own disease. As a cook, I always tried to talk directly to the customer when confronted with a request like this. The issue is just too important to rely on what the wait staff heard instead of what the customer actually said.