Balti house owners fined over allergen failings

22 October 2018 by
Balti house owners fined over allergen failings

The owners of a balti house in West Bromwich have been ordered to pay almost £3,000 after a meal advertised as peanut free was found to contain enough traces to induce an anaphylactic reaction.

Sayma Bibi Khanom and Shamsu Miah, owners of of Stone Cross Balti, Westminster Road, pleaded guilty to food offences at Wolverhampton Magistrates' Court earlier this month.

Sandwell Council's trading standards team had discovered that a lamb korma and rice dish advertised as peanut free contained 31mg of the nut per kilogram in September 2017. Officers had been testing food served in takeaways and restaurants to ensure it complied with rules around allergens and labelling.

The authority said it is believed the traces had resulted from cross-contamination with another ingredient the owners did not know contained peanuts.

The restaurant has since closed and has re-opened under new management with a new name.

Sandwell Council's cabinet member for public health and protection, Councillor Elaine Costigan, said: "It's shocking to think of a business serving food to members of the public putting someone's life at risk in this way.

"We've all heard of the tragic, but thankfully rare, circumstances of people who have died or become seriously ill after they've eaten something without knowing it contains a substance they are allergic to.

"Businesses are legally required to warn customers about any allergens in food. If a business can't guarantee a meal doesn't contain an allergen, then they shouldn't be serving it.

"Our trading standards team do vital work in keeping us all safe when we're eating out and I want to congratulate them for bringing this prosecution. I dread to think of the consequences had someone with a peanut allergy eaten this dish."

Bibi Khanom was fined £320, ordered to pay costs of £935 and a £32 victim surcharge. Miah was fined £535, ordered to pay costs of £935 and a £53 victim surcharge.

Pressure mounting on operators after allergen deaths>>

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