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FSA to take action on allergy information following Byron inquest

Following the inquest into the death of diner at restaurant chain Byron Hamburgers, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced new plans to signpost food allergies and intolerances.

Owen Carey, had a severe allergy to dairy, died after eating a chicken burger marinated in buttermilk at a Byron at the O2 in Greenwich in 2017.

The inquest heard the dairy contents was not listed on the “reassuring” menu and that Carey, who made staff aware of his allergies, was not informed about the presence of the ingredient. 

The actions include:

  • Issuing a clear and easy to follow aide-memoire for enforcement officers which is focused specifically on the action they should be taking within business in relation to food allergies
  • Publishing an urgent update of the ‘Safer Food Better Business’ guide, including a review of on the allergens information included
  • At the end of the year, launching of an awareness campaign to remind businesses and consumers about how to keep people with food allergies safe
  • Implementing a pilot project to develop better reporting of allergic reactions focusing on the concerns raised by Owen’s case at the next Industry Leadership Forum on food hypersensitivity in November
  • Meeting with Byron and their local authority to discuss the details of Owen’s case and lessons learned
  • Once all information is available, commission a full root cause analysis to ensure that lessons are shared

Byron CEO, Simon Wilkinson said in a statement after the inquiry: “We take allergies extremely seriously and have robust procedures in place and although those procedures were in line with all the rules and guidelines, we train our staff to respond in the right way.

“We will make it our priority to work with our colleagues across the restaurant industry to ensure that standards and levels of awareness are improved.”

The FSA has stressed its commitment to supporting food businesses to keep consumers safe, and to develop a greater understanding of food allergens through further research, which would make a significant improvement to people’s lives in this area.

 

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