THREE partners in a Penrith restaurant have been ordered to pay £3,000 in costs after serving a 14-year-old customer suffering from a peanut allergy a meal containing peanut protein.

Tojomul Hoque, Suhail Miah and Abu Sufian were each given a 12 months community order and ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work and pay £3,000 in costs at Carlisle Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to four offences under the Food Safety Act 1990.

The offences came to light after Cumbria County Council Trading Standards responded to a complaint from a local resident who said her daughter was taken to hospital after suffering anaphylactic shock having eaten a meal ordered at the Indiagate Indian Restaurant, Burrowgate, Penrith. 

The court heard it had been specified when the meal was ordered that  the meal should be free from nuts. Trading Standards sampled the same dish and under analysis it was found to contain peanut protein. The Public Analyst confirmed that there was sufficient quantity to present a real hazard to anyone who suffered from a nut allergy. 

The young lady who suffered the allergic reaction said she is now very wary of eating food when out.

Cllr Celia Tibble, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Trading Standards, said: “It’s vitally important that food outlets understand food allergies and the importance of preventing any cross contamination occurring in their kitchens. To those who suffer from a peanut allergy, even a tiny amount of peanut protein contained within food can have devastating consequences.”

John Greenbank, Trading Standards Manager, said: “This sentence should act as a warning that cases like this are treated extremely seriously by the courts.”