A former Grimsby restaurant owner has apologised and warned food businesses to be vigilant after undercover trading standards officers discovered peanut traces in ‘nut free’ dishes.
Trading Standards officers from North East Lincolnshire Council visited the Spice of Life restaurant on Wellowgate in July last year after placing an order for a chicken korma, where they requested the dish was free of nuts.
The ‘nut-free ‘curry was however found to contain 4.3mg of peanut – the equivalent of 12mg of peanut per kilogram. This is above the permitted level and could be potentially fatal to any customer with an allergy.
Mohammed Abdul Saleek, 55, of Welholme Road, Grimsby, who was the director at the time of the offence, was fined £500 at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court on January 17. He was also ordered to pay £1,757 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
The company was fined £2,000, ordered to pay £1,757 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
Abdul Salique told BBC reporters: “Traces of nuts in a commercial environment is nothing unusual. My freshly cooked curry also did contain traces of nuts. There was no direct nuts involved.”
He added: “Now we realise how serious it is. I’m sure a lot of restaurants, in fact I would say about 10,000 restaurants in this country, will have traces of nuts.”