The owners of a balti house have been fined thousands – after serving a potentially deadly lamb korma .
Sayma Bibi Khanom and Shamsu Miah, of Stone Cross Balti, Westminster Road, West Bromwich , advertised a “peanut-free” meal but, following a council sting, it contained enough of a trace to give an allergic person a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction.
Sandwell Council’s trading standards team uncovered the potentially fatal situation in September 2017 when officers were testing food served in takeaways and restaurants to check bosses were complying with strict rules on food allergens and food labelling.
Tests discovered the lamb korma and rice dish which was sold as being peanut-free actually contained 31mg per kg of peanuts.
Experts said this would easily be enough to cause an anaphylactic reaction – which can result in death – in someone allergic to peanuts.
In total, 40 premises were visited across Sandwell between September and December 2017 and three sold meals that contained dangerous levels of peanuts. The other two are still under investigation.
A further two meals tested contained trace levels of peanut but not at a high enough level to cause a reaction.
It’s believed the traces found in the dish at Stone Cross Balti were found due to cross-contamination from an ingredient the business did not know contained peanuts. The court heard that the restaurant had received advice from the local authority when the regulations requiring allergen information to be provided came into force but had failed to implement the guidance provided.
Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for public health and protection Councillor Elaine Costigan said: “It’s shocking to think of a business serving food to members of the public putting someone’s life at risk in this way.
The owners of Stone Cross Balti, meanwhile, who both pleaded guilty to food offences at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court on October 12, have been ordered to pay almost £3,000 in fines and court costs.
Bibi was fined £320, ordered to pay costs of £935 and a £32 victim surcharge. Miah was fined £535, ordered to pay costs of £935 and a £53 victim surcharge.