The UK’s Birmingham City Council has ordered the African Village restaurant in Birchfield Road, Perry Barr, to stop serving food to people with food allergies.
The council gave this order following an incident that resulted in the hospitalisation of a diner.
According to the council, the affected customer has an allergy to foods that contain either peanut or fish ingredients and therefore ordered an allergen-free meal.
The diner consumed the meal after the restaurant assured that it was allergen-free. However, he suffered a severe anaphylactic reaction and was hospitalised.
Following an investigation, environmental health officers identified that the restaurant lacks knowledge in relation to food allergens. The officials also found that there were many areas where food could be cross-contaminated by these products.
Birmingham City Council environmental health head Mark Croxford said: “As there is an imminent risk to the health for people who have allergies, for the first time in Birmingham, environmental health officers successfully applied to the magistrates’ court for an emergency order.
“This prevents the business from serving food to anyone who states they have an allergy. As the business does not pose a risk to everyone, it has not been formally closed and can trade as usual for everyone else.”
The council will continue the ban until the restaurant demonstrates that it can offer allergen-free meals.
Commenting on the action taken against the restaurant chain, Birmingham City Council Councillor Philip Davis said: “I fully support the actions of my team to protect customers of food businesses in Birmingham. All food businesses need to take this matter seriously.
“I urge all businesses to be honest with customers and if they are asked for an allergen-free meal and they are not 100% certain they can provide one, that they tell the customer the truth and do not take any risks.”