A student with allergies died as a result of misadventure after eating a chicken burger marinated in buttermilk, an inquest has concluded.
Shahida Shahid’s death was found to be an ‘unintended consequence of a deliberate act’, a jury found. She suffered a fatal reaction at Manchester’s Almost Famous restaurant.
The 18-year-old who was from Worsley, suffered a severe allergic reaction. She had eaten at the restaurant in the Great Northern Warehouse in January 2015.
Shahida had been out with a group of four other friends celebrating her first term at university. The inquest at Manchester Crown Court has previously heard that Shahida informed the barman taking the order of her allergies. The barman, Reiss Balfour, was told that she was allergic to dairy, nuts and fish.
However, she collapsed within an hour and died three days later in hospital from a horrific brain injury brought on by cardiac arrest. One of the chefs told police at the scene that it was a ‘terrible mistake’. However, the chef then answered, ‘no comment’ when questioned at the police station.
Detective Constable Robert Ashurst, went to visit the restaurant in the Great Northern warehouse at the time. He had heard over his radio about the collapse in January 2015.
He spoke to the then assistant manager Adam McKenna, informing him one of his customers was in a critical condition. The two went to speak in a private upstairs dining room, the court heard.
Staff had been told of the allergy
Barman Reiss Balfour said that he had told the kitchens about a customer with an allergy to nuts, dairy and fish. Balfour told the staff the customer should avoid the coleslaw and sauce but could have the burger.
Nobody could explain how the order had ‘contained the buttermilk’. However, the officer said he was told it was a ‘terrible mistake and the order could not have been checked properly’.
DC Ashurst, referring to his conversation with a chef, said: ‘That’s what he said, that it was a terrible mistake and should not have happened.’
Asked about how staff reacted, the officer continued: ‘In the police you come across a lot of people. I deal with a lot of death.
‘People are remorseful, upset, and all the staff were really upset about it. They were just so disappointed.’