A Fatal Night Out – as New EU Allergy Rules Take Effect
An inquest is being held into the circumstances that led to a Manchester U.K. student’s fatal reaction to food she ate at a popular burger restaurant.
Tributes have poured in for Shahida Shahid, 18, who had asthma and several food allergies. U.K. newspapers covering the inquest report that Shahida had discussed food options with her server, and was told that a chicken dish would be safe for her.
The Manchester Evening News says the detective on the case told the inquest at Manchester’s Coroner’s Court that “it is understood the dish did contain or was cooked in one of the ingredients she was allergic to.”
The young mathematics student’s death occurred just four weeks after new European Union allergy regulations came into effect on December 13. These require restaurants, caterers and take-out diners to provide allergen information on 14 allergens in any of their menu items. The information for allergic patrons can be communicated via the menu, pamphlets, binders or even in conversation with the server.
The coroner referred to the “timely reminder to the food industry” of the importance of complying with the new legislation.
It was after leaving the restaurant with her friends that Shahida began to experience symptoms. The Evening News says she tried using her inhaler and auto-injector, and an ambulance was called – but this was more than an hour after she had been eating. On Jan. 12, a few days after the reaction, she was removed from life support and died.
Allergic Living reminds allergic readers of these important steps:
- Always use an auto-injector as soon as possible if you begin to experience one or more key allergy symptoms after eating. Delay in receiving epinephrine has proved an important and recurring factor in food allergy deaths.
- Carry two auto-injectors, since more than one is sometimes required in a reaction.
- Call 911 after the auto-injector has been given, and don’t try to drive yourself to a hospital.