Food Safety: Judge reminds operators duty of care they owe to customers with allergies

17 May

This week, a Court of Appeal case has once again given a timely reminder to operators of their duty of care to customers with allergies.

In Kuddus v R. [2019] EWCA Crim 837 (16 May 2019), which concerned a takeaway owner who was jailed for the manslaughter of a schoolgirl who suffered an allergic reaction to a takeaway meal, the victim’s order had made clear she suffered allergies in respect of nuts and prawns.

At the conclusion of the case, the conviction Mr. Kuddus’ appealed upon (as operator of the business ) was quashed, however, the President of the Queen’s Bench Division, Sir Brian Leveson declared in part of the case’s Judgement;

“84. There is now a general awareness of the potential risks to those who suffer from allergies and, as a result, it should be understood that the courts will rigorously scrutinise the way in which restaurants discharge the duty of care that they owe to such customers.”

Operators reflecting on these comments, should revisit their due diligence systems and training for staff regarding Food Safety and their duty of care for customers (particularly )with allergies.

For reference, The Food Standards Agency has useful guides in relation to Allergen’s for food businesses.

Law correct at the date of publication.
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