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Orange mousse with nuts leaves Strand Palace with £70K bill!


This week we have heard in the news that the Strand Palace Hotel has been fined for serving a Food Hypersensitive customer a dessert in 2019 which was not supposed to contain nuts, however it appears there was a possible mix up with another similar dessert and incorrect labelling was used in error.

The four-star Strand Palace Hotel and Restaurants, which sits opposite Somerset House, has been convicted of health and safety breaches. Bosses were ordered to pay a £50,000 fine, with more than £15,000 in costs to Westminster council, which brought the prosecution, and a £5,000 compensation payment to the customer.

There appears to have been an error in the supply chain and ingredients from a similar dish where used which did not contain nuts, when the specific dish served did contain nuts - due diligence in checking labelling and the supply chain labelling is just one gateway, and delivery of the correct product is another!

Could this be your hotel or restaurant? Our Mock Trial Experience demonstrates the sentencing of a Food Allergy prosecution on 26 September will look at how you can monitor your processes, with gateways throughout your procedures to ensure Near Misses are picked up on and reviewed on a regular basis no matter how unimportant they may seem!

Our third event will be back in the room, where delegates will be able to network and participate in the proceedings.  We will have the court room scenario of a defendant, hotelier who is prosecuted after a catalogue of failures, resulting in a near fatality with a FHS customer receiving CPR, and hospital treatment after an adrenaline pen was dispensed.


There will be a prosecution and defence barristers in attendance with a judge presiding over the sentencing hearing.  The audience will participate as the jury making the decisions on the seriousness of the offence, to set the fine, and imprisonment if appropriate.

In addition, we will have a range of speakers including the Food Standards Agency update on what’s coming next. Belinda Stuart-Moonlight on what went wrong in the tragic death of Celia Marsh when she purchased a vegan wrap from Pret-a-Manger, Belinda, an expert witness will review the inquest findings and lessons learnt.  Iain Ferris will walk us through Improvement Notices from a Hospitality and Local Authorities perspective, and how they can work together to keep the FHS customer safe. 

The agenda can be accessed here

No restaurant plans to cause an allergic reaction to their customers, but it’s something you should seriously consider within your risk assessment planning.

Food Business Operations (FBO) should review EVERY aspect of safety within their business and consider worse case scenario’s which could cause fatalities or serious reactions.

 A similar situation to the Strand palace happened recently to a colleague who is allergic to one of the more common food allergens, when they attended a dinner.  They stated at each stage of the planning (in writing weeks before and on the day in person) about their allergy, with a real focus on the seriousness/severity (i.e., possibly fatal). They were assured that their food was 'safe' from the allergen and the venue was 'well aware of their situation’.

Unfortunately, they had a very severe reaction, with EPIPEN adrenaline needles being administered together with CPR within minutes of the anaphylactic shock (on the floor of the location, mere yards from the dinner table). Fortunately, they survived, albeit after an immediate hospital admission.  Two months on they are still experiencing serious physical and mental effects from the attack.

Questions are asked, was there a policy? were staff trained?    If these questions were answered as yes, where did it go wrong and where could it go wrong for your business?

Food Allergy Aware is offering your staff the opportunity to participate in a Mock Trial Food Allergy Prosecution Experience on Tuesday 26 September at the Heart of England Conference Centre.

“I wish that I never needed to visit any food service establishments to conduct food allergy training and that restaurants were totally safe for those with allergies, but we continually hear about mistakes, bad practice and companies who are not aware of the risks. Until food allergies are taken seriously everywhere we will continue to raise awareness, train, and educate.

Participating in the mock trial really brings home all the areas where mistakes can happen!

Check out event by clicking here – Early bird rates in place until 31 May 2023 so book early to save money, group discounts available

Click on the following link to find out the Strand Palace news item -



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Caroline Benjamin

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