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Boy Dies From Peanut Allergy After Eating Contaminated Takeout Food

Posted by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 2:58 PM
  • 43 Replies


Boy Dies From Peanut Allergy After Eating Contaminated Takeout Food

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12-year-old boy Connor Donaldson died after a severe allergic reaction to peanuts he consumed in an order of takeout curry. Donaldson’s mother, Sarah, says she was promised by the restaurant’s staff that the dish did not contain peanuts.

The death took place on October 19, 2013. That evening, Sarah and her son ordered takeout from a local Indian restaurant.

“We discussed that my meal couldn’t contain nuts,” Donaldson said. “He assured me my meal wouldn’t contain nuts. Connor and I do not eat korma or tikka because it has nuts.”

But minutes after the two started eating, it was clear the staff hadn’t prepared their food carefully enough.

“I came back and sat down next to Connor and he tapped me on the leg and said ‘I can’t breath,’” Donaldson recalls. “I got his inhaler and he took ten breaths from it. The inhaler had no effect and I could tell it wasn’t going well so I straight away rang 999. I was comforting Connor and he slumped down and I was on the phone to the ambulance who were telling me what to do. I had already started doing CPR.”

Connor was pronounced dead minutes after arriving at the hospital. A coroner confirmed the allergic reaction killed him.

The owner of the restaurant that served Donaldson says that although they do their best to prevent cross-contamination, there is always a risk involved when people with allergies eat out.

“I know even the slightest thing can do something to another curry so we always make sure spoons and woks are clean,” owner Minhaz Ahmed said. But, he reiterates, “There is a risk. No matter how careful you are there is a risk. There has to be. Business owners need to know because we don’t want this to happen again.”

Dr. Vibha Sharma, an allergy expert at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, cautions people with severe food allergies to think twice before eating at restaurants.

“I don’t think the message is sufficiently out there that not only do you need to avoid food with nuts in them but you need to be careful about eating food from premises where nuts are used with any food stuff,” Dr. Sharma said. “Even a small amount from cross contamination can be fatal.”

Sources: Mail Online, Mirror

by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 2:58 PM
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Replies (1-10):
mhaney03
by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Poor thing, what a horrible way to go.

MeAndTommyLee
by Platinum Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 3:03 PM
Terrible news.
nixore
by Myk Elskling on Mar. 26, 2014 at 3:05 PM
2 moms liked this

That is awful.  I wonder why they didn't have an epi-pen for such a severe allergy?  :( 

LAHnTAH0812
by Bronze Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 3:07 PM
2 moms liked this
An inhaler? He needed an epipen!!!
fatcat0908
by Bronze Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 3:07 PM
2 moms liked this

So sad, however, if my child had a deadly allergy, I'd never place my trust in a restaurant to not cross contaminate with allergens. 

erika9009
by Bronze Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 3:08 PM
1 mom liked this

Sorry this happened.  Eating out is a risk.  

I would not trust my kids life to someone else like this.  The staff can try their best, but controlling everything is difficult at best.  

This is brutal, but the mom should not have taken the kid there.  If he loved the food, she should have learned to cook it herself.  

We can blame the restaurant all we want, but the boy is still dead.  Any legal settlement will not change that.  

4evrinbluejeans
by KK on Mar. 26, 2014 at 3:10 PM
2 moms liked this

That's very sad.  I admit I don't understand why parents make some of the decisions they do.  These are not risks I would take if my child had that type of allergy.   Unless the restaurant has two kitchens there is no way to prevent nut contamination.  

LoveMyBoyK
by Ruby Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 3:14 PM
2 moms liked this

And teh dish probably did NOT contain nuts, as they were told.  However, part of it may have been prepared in a dish that had nuts earlier or something similar.  I have a friend who can not eat ANY  fried food from any resturaunt that serves fried seafood because he is deathly allergic to seafood and he will nto take the chance the oil for, say, fries or onion rings was used previously to fry up shrimp, for instance.  The mother should have had an epipen, not an inhaler, and should not have taken her son to get take-out food with such a severe allergy, IMO.  It is a very sad story all around but I do not think the resturaunt is to blame.

Woodbabe
by Woodie on Mar. 26, 2014 at 3:17 PM
1 mom liked this

That poor family! I have Celiac and its very difficult to enjoy eating out. Luckily it just means a messed up weekend/few days and isn't life threatening....I can't imagine having a life threatening allergy.

GLWerth
by Gina on Mar. 26, 2014 at 3:23 PM
1 mom liked this

As others have said:

1. Why didn't she have an epi-pen.

2. You can never be 100% sure that there will be no cross-contamination of food prepared in a restaurant.

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