Restaurant bosses jailed over ‘litany of kitchen failings’ that led to allergen death

The owner and manager of a takeaway whose kitchen contained a “litany of failings” have been jailed for manslaughter after a teenage girl died when the meal she ordered carried peanuts.

Mohammed Abdul Kuddus and Harun Rashid, who ran Royal Spice in Lancashire, were today jailed for two years and three years respectively at Manchester Crown Court.

15-year-old Megan Lee suffered irreversible brain damage after an allergic reaction to the meal, which she ordered via the Just Eat website.

Although she wrote ‘prawns, nuts’ in the comments and notes section, her order was found to have the “widespread presence” of peanut protein.

News of the sentencing comes amidst a heightened focus on allergen awareness within the industry.

Mrs Justice Yip told the pair that Megan was responsible enough to highlight her allergies when placing the order but “sadly the same responsibility was not at your end”.

She said the takeaway had no kitchen systems or processes to manage allergen control.

“The menu contained no information about allergens. No record was kept of the ingredients used in dishes. In short, it appears that no-one at the takeaway had any way of knowing what allergens were in the food supplied.”

Owner Kuddus had admitted two health and safety charges on behalf of himself and the takeaway, but both he and Rashid denied manslaughter.

Their trial heard that Megan suffered an acute asthma attack after eating the meal they had prepared and died two days later in hospital.

The court heard there was a “litany of failings” in the kitchen, including the absence of any records about ingredients and poor hygiene practise.

Kuddus received an additional eight month sentence, to run concurrently, for two food safety offences, while Rashid was given 10 months in custody, also to run concurrently, for the same offences.

Inquest into tragic allergen death could examine ‘loopholes’ in kitchen laws

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