Restaurateur Gets 6 Years for Curry That Killed Customer

Man had warned staff about peanut allergy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2016 2:46 AM CDT
Restaurateur Gets 6 Years for Curry That Killed Customer
The curry death was completely avoidable, prosecutors said.   (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

A dishonest, penny-pinching British restaurateur is going to prison for a curry dish that killed a customer. Mohammed Zaman was sentenced to six years after being found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence and several food-safety offenses in the 2014 death of Paul Wilson, who had a severe allergy to peanuts, the New York Times reports. He died after a single bite of a takeout chicken tikka masala meal from Zaman's Indian Garden restaurant, which replaced ground almonds with cheaper ground peanuts in its dishes even after officials ordered the restaurant to stop doing so following another customer's allergic reaction.

Wilson, a 38-year-old pub manager, had diligently avoided peanuts for more than 30 years after suffering a severe allergic reaction as a child. He told the restaurant of his allergy, and "no nuts" was written on his takeout container. "Paul Wilson was in the prime of his life," Judge Simon Bourne-Arton told Zaman, per the Yorkshire Post. "He, like you, worked in the catering trade. He, unlike you, was a careful man." After the first-of-its-kind verdict, the chief prosecutor said the message to the catering industry should be clear: "There is a duty of care to your customers. If you ignore your responsibilities and regulations and put lives at real risk, then we will not hesitate to prosecute." (Researchers are working on a cure for peanut allergies.)

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