AL - Bakery Fined Over Walnut in Carrot Cake After Woman with Allergy Taken to Hospital...Computer Malfunction Blamed : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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Bakery Fined Over Walnut in Carrot Cake Allergy Wife was Taken to Hospital

Source: Evening Mail Publication date: 2000-06-19

A BIRMINGHAM bakery was fined pounds 1,500 by city magistrates after a mislabelled piece of carrot cake containing walnut caused a woman to suffer a life-threatening allergic reaction.

A Lewis & Sons Ltd, which admitted a charge under the Trading Standards Act, was also ordered to pay pounds 480 costs.

Jane Linekar, prosecuting, told the court that Jane Thomas, aged 44, of Chadwick Avenue, Rednal, bought the cake when she took her husband, Stephen, aged 47, who suffers from cancer, to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital last year.

Trouble breathing

She had known about her allergy since she was a teenager and before she ate it she checked the label but there were no nuts listed.

She said: 'Mrs Thomas said nothing at first as she didn't want to alarm her husband, but by the time they were going to bed she was having trouble breathing and couldn't speak.

'She had never suffered from this reaction before and it must have been a frightening experience.'

Mr Thomas called an ambulance and paramedics took his wife to the Selly Oak Hospital where she was detained overnight. When she was discharged she made a complaint to the council who bought another piece of cake to test.

The court was told that a computer malfunction had to led to incorrect labelling.

After the hearing a company spokesman said: 'We are very sorry this happened.

' All our staff have now received training on how to use the computer that prints the labels and we have added a nut warning to all our products whether or not they have nuts in them.'

Mrs Thomas said: 'I am happy with the result. This was the first time I'd gone into anaphylaxic shock and it was incredibly scary.

'My motive for bringing the case was a fear that a grandparent might buy a cake for a small child.'

-- (, June 21, 2000

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