Student dies of allergic reaction

A recent press report highlighted the case of a girl aged 18 who died after eating a chicken burger.  She was allergic to dairy, nuts and shellfish so, before ordering the chicken burger, she checked the ingredients with the restaurant.  Unfortunately, the information she received was incorrect as the preparation process of the burger was not taken into account.  The chicken burger had been marinated in buttermilk but this was not noted on the allergen list.  The girl died of an allergic reaction after eating the chicken burger.

This tragic event was totally avoidable but could easily be repeated as we are frequently seeing incorrect allergen information being recorded which can cause confusion and mistakes.

Make sure your Allergen Information is accurate.

  • Note all allergens contained in your raw ingredients (noted in BOLD on ingredient lists)
  • Double check your orders for any substitute items as the ingredients may differ.
  • Note all allergens contained in any sauces, marinades, etc
  • Look at the preparation of the product – is it marinated, floured, battered, mixed with any other ingredients, cooked in a fryer previously used for frying products containing gluten? Note all allergens introduced during the preparation and cooking stage.

Is there any potential for cross contamination during preparation process?  For example, using the same batter for raw fish and onion rings could lead to cross contamination of fish on the onion rings that could be fatal for someone allergic to fish.

Alert

Update all your kitchen and Front of House Staff on any changes of allergens present in your dishes.

Food Fact

Did you know peanuts are not nuts but are legumes which is why they are listed separately on the allergen sheet. They do not grow on trees like other nuts as they actually grow underground.