Oldbury restaurant lands £3,000 court bill after serving peanuts in nut-free meal
A Black Country restaurant has been ordered to pay out more than £3,000 after serving peanut-free food containing peanuts.
The dishes served at Mozalicious in Langley, Oldbury, could have caused a potentially fatal reaction for someone with an allergy, the court heard.
Sandwell Council's trading standards officers requested peanut-free meals when they visited the Indian restaurant and takeaway in Langley High Street.
They had visited Mozalicious, along with more than 40 other restaurants during November and December 2017. Posing as customers with peanut allergies, they requested the peanut-free meals.
Subsequent analysis in a laboratory found the meals to dishes of butter lamb contained enough peanut to produce a reaction in someone with an allergy – which could be potentially fatal.
Mozalicious owner, Afsar Ali, was fined at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court last month following the investigation and prosecution by the council.
Magistrates were unconvinced by Ali's claims that officers had never requested the meals be made without peanut – and that he had done everything in his power to prevent such an incident occurring.
This was confirmed by Sandwell Council environmental health officers who were carrying out a food hygiene inspection at the same time.
Their evidence showed that restaurant staff were not following strict allergen control procedures – including a chef using the same spoon for nut powder, as well as for other ingredients.
Ali, 31, was found guilty, following a trial, of providing food that was not of the quality demanded and was unsafe. He was sentenced on February 28 and ordered to pay a fine of £1,200, costs of £1,854.40 and a £120 victim surcharge.
Councillor Elaine Costigan, Sandwell Council's cabinet member for public health and protection, said: "The restaurant in this case was told on two separate occasions by the officers that the meals needed to be peanut-free.
“If the meals had been served to someone genuinely suffering from a peanut allergy, then the consequences could have been fatal.
“Our officers have worked hard and continue to work hard to provide all food businesses in Sandwell with information about allergen control to protect our residents and prevent incidents like this occurring.
“Our advice is that if a restaurant is not able to provide meals that are free of allergens them they should not offer to do so.”
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