Monday October 22, 2018

Restaurant owner in England jailed over customer’s death due to fatal allergic reactions

Every year, around 10 people in the UK die from allergic reactions to food and many more end up in hospital.

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Mohammad Zaman. Image source Google images
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A restaurateur, Mohammad Zaman, 53, was imprisoned for six years for killing a customer by selling him a curry containing peanuts. This warned the food businesses to take allergies seriously. Paul Wilson, 38, suffered a fatal allergic reaction to the peanuts.

Wilson, who was meticulous about his condition, had asked for a chicken tikka masala with “no nuts” but his takeaway curry from the Indian Garden in Easingwold, North Yorkshire, was cooked with a groundnut mix containing peanuts. “If you ignore your responsibilities and regulations and put lives at real risk then we will not hesitate to prosecute” said Martin Goldman, chief crown prosecutor for Yorkshire and Humberside.

Indian garden, one of Zaman's restaurants. Image source Googlle images
Indian garden, one of Zaman’s restaurants. Image source Googlle images

Zaman had run up pounds 294,000 debts in his six restaurants in North Yorkshire. He was cutting costs by using cheaper ingredients and employing untrained, illegal workers. “He put profit before safety” is what said the prosecution. The court heard that less than a month before Wilson’s death in January 2014, another nut allergy sufferer Ruby Scott, 17, was hospitalised after eating a chicken korma from another one of Zaman’s restaurants. Although she had been told the dish did not contain peanuts, she suffered an allergic reaction and had to be injected with adrenaline.

A trading standards officer visited the Jaipur Spice restaurant a week before Wilson’s death and found evidences of peanuts in a meal which was said to be “peanut-free.” Following this, the officer told staff that customers in all of Zaman’s restaurants must be informed that they were using peanuts.

image source Pinterest
Nut Free. Image source Pinterest

Sentencing yesterday (Monday), Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, said Bangladesh-born Zaman had “thrown away” all his success and “done so in pursuit of profit.” On the day after Wilson suffered the fatal anaphylactic shock, another trading standards investigator found Zaman’s restaurant was still claiming it served “nut-free” curries. He was found guilty of all charges.

Wilson’s parents Keith and Margaret urged more catering staff to be trained about allergens, “Justice has been served, Paul can rest in peace,” they added. Every year, around 10 people in the UK die from allergic reactions and many more end up in hospital.

All businesses are criminally liable if they do not provide specific details about allergenic ingredients, states a new law which came into effect since December 2014.

-by Vrushali Mahajan

Vrushali is pursuing her graduation in Journalism and is an intern at NewsGram. You can reach the author at twitter- Vrushali Mahajan 

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The Families Of Victims In Railway Accident Incident In India Stage Protests

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the accident a "heart-wrenching tragedy" and asked officials to provide immediate assistance to the injured.

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People gather at the site of an accident after a train traveling at high speed ploughed through a crowd of people on rail tracks near Amritsar, India. VOA

Angry relatives of the scores of people who were killed in India when they were run over by a speeding train staged protests Saturday while one of the country’s railway officials maintains the railway is not responsible for the tragic accident.

The train was traveling at high speed when it ploughed through a crowd Friday at a religious festival on the outskirts of the northern city of Amritsar, killing 59 people, Punjab state’s Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, told reporters Saturday. Singh said 57 others were injured and an official investigation would be carried out over the next four weeks.

The Jalandhar-Amritsar express was traveling at 90 kilometers per hour when it hit the crowd, which had gathered on the tracks to watch a fireworks display marking the Hindu festival of Dussehra.

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The Hindu festival of Dussehra.

Hundreds of relatives of the victims engaged in sporadic protests on and near the tracks Saturday, calling for action against local authorities and the train operator, who was questioned Saturday by police.

Authorities moved the protestors off the tracks and brought in reinforcements to control the crowd.

‘No lapse on our part’

The railway accident was India’s worst in years, but the junior minister who manages Indian Railways, the world’s fourth largest rail system, refused to accept responsibility.

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A man mourns next to the burning pyre of a family member who died after a train traveling at high speed ploughed through a crowd of people, at a cremation site in Amritsar, India. VOA

“Railways cannot be blamed. Railways were not informed about the ceremony,” Manoj Sinha told reporters Saturday. Speaking to reporters, Sinha ruled out any punitive action against his staff, saying, “There was no lapse on our part and no action against the driver will be initiated.”

Local government officials said the festival takes place every year on the outskirts of Amritsar and that railroad authorities are alerted to run the trains at slow speeds.

Witnesses said the victims did not realize the train was coming because of the sound of the fireworks and celebrations.

‘Heart-wrenching’

Some witnesses said the train did not sound its whistle as it sped past the festival site.

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With India, Indian Railway is also digitizing, Pixels

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the accident a “heart-wrenching tragedy” and asked officials to provide immediate assistance to the injured.

Also Read: India Continues Engaging With USA Over H-1B Passport Issue

India’s railway network remains the main form of travel in the vast country, where railway accidents are relatively common.

Millions of Hindus celebrate the Dussehra festival by burning giant effigies of the demon Ravana, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. (VOA)