Restaurant banned from serving food to customers with allergies

Birmingham-based restaurant African Village has been banned by Birmingham City Council, after a customer was hospitalised following a meal that was said to be allergy free. The ban is the first of its kind in the city.

The customer, who has an allergy to foods that contain either peanuts or fish ingredients, requested an allergen-free meal and was assured by the restaurant that this could be provided. However, on eating the meal, the diner suffered a severe anaphylactic reaction leading to hospitalisation.

Environmental health officers inspected the restaurant and found a “lack of knowledge in relation to allergens in food”, it was also judged that there were many areas where food could be cross-contaminated by these products.

Mark Croxford, head of environmental health at Birmingham City Council, said: “As there is an imminent risk to the health for people who have allergies, for the first time in Birmingham, environmental health officers successfully applied to the magistrates’ court for an emergency order.

“This prevents the business from serving food to anyone who states they have an allergy. As the business does not pose a risk to everyone it has not been formally closed and can trade as usual for everyone else.”

The order remains in place until such a time that the restaurant can demonstrate that it is able to provide allergen-free meals.

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