A FURIOUS family is demanding answers after their toddler was served industrial cleaning fluid instead of water at a Sheffield restaurant, writes Ben Spencer.
Stuart and Diane Watkinson were having dinner with friends at Toby Carvery on Ecclesall Road South, Parkhead, when their one-year-old Sophie started spluttering.
Stuart, 36, tasted her drink and was ‘horrified’ to find it tasted of chemicals.
When he raised the alarm a waitress said the beaker had accidentally been filled with pipe cleaner - and Sophie was rushed to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Stuart said: “When I took a sip of the water Sophie had been drinking I couldn’t believe it, it felt like I was drinking bleach, the taste was horrific and I immediately spat it out.
“To know my child had drunk such a dangerous substance through no fault of her own made me absolutely furious.
“A moment’s carelessness could have devastated our lives. It just doesn’t bear thinking about.
“I want assurances steps will be taken so this cannot happen again.”
Daniel Martin, the one-year-old son of the Watkinsons’ friends, Phil and Claire Martin, who were visiting from Bury, was also served the liquid.
Both families are now demanding a guarantee from the dining chain that the mix-up will never be repeated.
Kathryn Baines, a public liability solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, said: “It beggars belief that this hazardous liquid was left in a water jug without any warning or hazard signs.
“This basic error in health and safety procedures could have had utterly devastating consequences for one or both families.”
Mitchells and Butlers, said staff had been retrained following the incident in May.
A spokeswoman said: “We can confirm Toby Carvery has admitted liability. We are satisfied we have a highly experienced manager in place to ensure the safe, responsible operation of the business for all of our customers to enjoy.”