FSA To Investigate Tragic Death


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463
An investigation has been launched after a young woman died following an allergic reaction after a meal at Almost Famous Burgers in Manchester.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Greater Manchester Police are looking into how 18-year-old Shahida Shahid, who was allergic to a variety of foods, died in hospital from brain damage three days after eating at the burger restaurant.

Police told the inquest into her death at Manchester Coroner’s Court that she may have warned staff of her allergies before ordering and was recommended a chicken dish. It is believed the food may have contained, or have been cooked in ingredients that caused the fatal reaction.

Coroner Nigel Meadows said the tragic incident was a "timely reminder" for food businesses to ensure they are compliant with new regulations about providing accurate information to customers with allergies.

"The law has relatively recently changed and new regulations came into force in August and more new EU regulations in December," he said.

An FSA spokesperson added: "Allergen management doesn’t require much more than good food hygiene practices; but because allergens cannot be cooked out, food business also need to know what allergens are in what food component or dish and this can be achieved by clear labelling, good segregation and communication."

The organisation has launched an online toolkit to inform restaurants of the changes to the EU regulations and to identify the steps they need to take to ensure customers with allergies are catered for.

Expert Opinion
It is very concerning to hear that this young woman may have informed staff of her allergies and had been recommended a dish that still may have contained, or been cooked in, ingredients which she was allergic too. The tragic incident is a stark reminder of the importance of closely monitoring and regulating the provision of allergy information within the food industry and the need for restaurants to comply with the latest EU regulations outlined at the end of 2015.

“We have represented people who have suffered with allergic reactions in the past, and it is crucial that any failings identified by the investigation are corrected immediately to avoid similar tragic incidents in the future. We welcome the work being done by the FSA to ensure restaurants are informed of the changes to the regulations and what they need to do to ensure they are complying with them and providing customers with the information they require.”
Amandeep Dhillon, Partner