Teen's death from nut allergy after meal at South Yorkshire restaurant prompts warning

A teenager died from an allergic reaction after eating a curry at a South Yorkshire restaurant - just months after a similar tragedy was narrowly averted at the same premises.

Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 08:50 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 08:55 am
Dylan Hill died after eating a korma dish containing peanuts, to which he was allergic

Dylan Hill, who had been diagnosed with a peanut allergy aged 10, was dining out with his partner in Barnsley when he became unwell after consuming just one or two mouthfuls of his korma meal.

The 18-year-old apprentice builder, from Thurnscoe, asked whether the meal contained nuts and was told it did.

Investigations found the 'almond powder' used in the korma contained 94 per cent almonds and six per cent peanuts.

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Staff had been unaware it contained peanuts as the ingredients were not checked upon purchase, the powder was decanted into an unlabelled container and the packaging was disposed of.

He had an anaphylactic reaction and was taken to hospital where he made a full recovery.

An inquest into Mr Hill's death heard how the trading standards team at Barnsley Council had not been informed of this incident before Mr Hill's death, and had they been they would have arranged a priority visit.

The inquest was told no procedures existed for health services to inform trading standards officers in cases of non-fatal anaphylactic reactions.

Tanyka Rawden, assistant coroner for South Yorkshire, has now written to health secretary Jeremy Hunt and the Food Standards Agency calling for action to prevent further deaths.

"In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths may occur unless cases of non-fatal anaphylactic reactions caused by the ingestion of purchases from food business operatives are reported to those regulatory authorities responsible for the supervision and monitoring of food safety and hygiene," she wrote.

"The question therefore arises as to whether the emergency services and health services within the area can work together to ensure that trading standards departments are made aware of all anaphylaxis incidents relating to commercial premises so that the appropriate action can be taken as regards those premises."

Her report was also sent to hospitals, clinical commissioning groups, trading standards departments and ambulance chiefs in South Yorkshire.

Mr Hill had left home without his EpiPen, an adrenaline-filled syringe used to treat severe reactions, but the inquest found there was no evidence using this at the scene would have saved his life.

Barnsley Council reminded businesses in the wake of the tragedy that they are legally required to inform customers of any allergens contained in their dishes.

The restaurant - Shaam’s, on High Street, in Wombwell - has since closed.