Tearful family of teen who died after Byron burger allergic reaction demand new law to label menus

Tearful family of teen who died after Byron burger allergic reaction demand new law to label menus

- in Uk News
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THE family of a teenager who died after eating a Byron burger have demanded a new law to label menus.

Owen Carey, 18, died in his girlfriend’s arms after taking a bite of a ‘Skinny Chicken Burger’ at a chain in the O2 Arena, Greenwich, in April 2017.

Owen Carey, died in his girlfriend’s arms after eating the Byron grilled chicken burger which had been marinaded in buttermilk
SWNS:South West News Service
Owen’s dad Paul, wipes his tears as a family statement is read outside Southwark Coroner’s Court
PA:Press Association
Owen’s mum Moira Carey, holds his photo outside the court
PA:Press Association

He told staff he was allergic to dairy, but was not informed his order contained chicken coated in buttermilk.

Owen collapsed less than an hour after he first experienced the reaction.

In a statement outside Southwark Coroner’s Court, Mr Carey’s family called on the food industry to “put the safety of their customers first”.

They said: “Owen was the shining light in our family.

“We are calling on the Government to change the law on allergen labelling in restaurants.

“We want restaurants to have to display clear allergen information on each individual dish on their menus.

“The food industry should put the safety of their customers first.

‘A SHINING LIGHT’

“It is simply not good enough to have a policy which relies on verbal communication between the customer and their server, which often takes places in a busy, noisy restaurant where the turnover of staff is high and many of their customers are very young.”

Owen Carey’s mother Moira Carey paid tribute to her son after the inquest.

She said: “Owen had a load of energy and was always smiling, and wanted to get to the most out of life.”

Owen played trumpet, violin and electric guitar, and there was “always noise in the house”, she said, adding: “It was great.”

Ms Carey said there are “hundreds of thousands” of allergy sufferers who are scared to eat out in restaurants because “that is the key place where they are at risk”.

Owen’s father Paul Carey said he would “always think of the times” he had together with his son.

He added: “He was an excellent chap,Owen Carey’s mother Moira Carey paid tribute to her son after the inquest.

She said: “Owen had a load of energy and was always smiling, and wanted to get to the most out of life.”

Owen played trumpet, violin and electric guitar, and there was “always noise in the house”, she said, adding: “It was great.”

Ms Carey said there are “hundreds of thousands” of allergy sufferers who are scared to eat out in restaurants because “that is the key place where they are at risk”.

Owen’s father Paul Carey said he would “always think of the times” he had together with his son.

He added: “He was an excellent chap, a beautiful boy and a great mate.”.”

‘THOUSANDS AT RISK’

In a written conclusion, assistant coroner Briony Ballard said Owen “died from a severe food-induced anaphylactic reaction from food eaten and ordered at a restaurant despite making staff aware of his allergies”.

Speaking outside court after the inquest, Byron chief executive Simon Wilkinson said his death was a “matter of great regret and sadness”.

He said in a statement: “We take allergies extremely seriously and have robust procedures in place and although those procedures were in line with all the rules and guidelines, we train our staff to respond in the right way.

“It is a matter of great regret and sadness that our high standards of communicating with our customers were not met during Owen’s visit.


“We believe we always did our best to meet our responsibilities but we know that this will be of no comfort to Owen’s family.

“We have heard what the coroner said about the need to communicate about allergies and it is clear that the current rules and requirements are not enough and the industry needs to do more.

“We will make it our priority to work with our colleagues across the restaurant industry to ensure that standards and levels of awareness are improved.”

In June this year former Environment Secretary Michael Gove promised a new law protecting allergy sufferers following the death of 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse.

Under “Natasha’s law”, food businesses will have to include full ingredients labelling on pre-packaged food.

Natasha died of anaphylaxis, after suffering a severe allergic reaction to sesame seeds which were not listed in the ingredients of an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette bought in Heathrow Airport.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the law would come into effect in October 2021.

His death sparked calls for changes to allergen labelling rules
Central News
Emma Kocher, the sister of Owen Cary, outside Southwark Coroner’s Court
PA:Press Association
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died in July 2016 from an allergic reaction to a Pret sandwich
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died in July 2016 from an allergic reaction to a Pret sandwich
Central News

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