One of Jamie’s Italian restaurants has been fined R115 000 for serving wheat pasta to a customer with celiac disease in what has been described as a ‘terrible mix up’.
The incident took place in 2001 when Kristy Richardson visited Jamie’s Italian in Portsmouth, England. When ordering her pasta she asked three different staff members to make sure she was served gluten free pasta but still ended up with regular pasta.
She suffers from celiac disease in which the immune system reacts to gluten causing damage to the small intestine.
As a result of the failure of the restaurant to serve her what she requested she fell ill suffering from vomiting and nausea.
To complicate matters even more she was on a transplant list waiting for a heart and a lung. Due to the condition brought on by the regular pasta she had to be temporarily removed from the list.
The Mail Online reports that a judge fined Jamie’s Italian £8,000 for breaching food safety laws and ordered it to pay £9,212 costs.
Prosecutor Malcolm Gibney, for Portsmouth City Council Trading Standards, said: ‘Mrs Richardson and her husband attended for lunch for their wedding anniversary with the intention of having an enjoyable meal.
‘Mrs Richardson was diagnosed as a coeliac sufferer at the age of 19 and is very conscious of her diet.
‘She wanted to check that the restaurant could serve a gluten free meal and she suffers from a number of other illnesses so wanted to ensure the staff knew what her needs were.
‘She spoke to the maitre d’ and was assured that gluten free pasta could be provided, so an order was placed and consumed.
‘But within a couple of hours Mrs Richardson started to feel nauseous and continued to vomit over the next four or five hours.
‘As a result she suffered a very nasty reaction and an auto-immune response to other medication she had.’
Jamies Italian pleaded guilty to “selling food not of the nature, substance or quality demanded by a purchaser”.