Pub chain fined after allergic boy suffers severe reaction to wrong pudding

The Globe Inn at Leighton Buzzard Credit: Old English Inns

The pub chain Greene King has been fined £24,000 after an 11-year-old boy suffered an anaphylactic shock in one of its pubs after eating a dessert containing egg.

The boy, who's allergic to eggs, was out for a meal with his family at The Globe Inn in Leighton Buzzard, on 3 April last year when the incident happened.

Pub staff recommended a Baked Alaska, as information sheets they'd been given wrongly suggested it did not contain egg.

The boy's mother asked the waitress to go away and double check – and triple checked by asking the manager. He then produced the allergens sheet displaying the incorrect information.

​Her son suffered an anaphylactic shock and was taken to Luton and Dunstable Hospital by ambulance to be checked out.

An investigation by food safety officers from Central Bedfordshire Council discovered that there had been discrepancies between Greene King and its supplier in the list of ingredients in relation to allergen declaration in the dessert.​

​Greene King was made aware of this in November 2015 but failed to take action until February 2016. And even then it failed to check or put in place measures to make sure the individual restaurants had the correct information – resulting in the incident at The Globe.

​Greene King pleaded guilty at Luton Magistrates’ Court on Friday to one charge under the 1990 Food Safety Act of selling food not of the nature or substance or quality demanded.

It was fined £24,000, along with a £120 victim surcharge, with court costs still to be agreed.

The court heard the incident had left the boy needing counselling and psychological support for food and eating disorders.

Food safety officers from the council have since visited the pub to double-check that the correct information is held and being supplied to customers.

Greene King said they were very sorry for what had happened.