Boy has allergic reaction to Norfolk pub The Ingham Swan
06:00 21 May 2022
An eight-year-old boy has been taken to hospital after suffering an allergic reaction at a Norfolk restaurant – despite his family being told the food would be safe for him.
The owner of the Ingham Swan has apologized for the incident – which saw the boy go into anaphylactic shock after eating a bite of chocolate mousse – and said a member of staff had been licensed.
Norfolk County Council Trading Standards said it had given advice to the site on how its procedures could be improved to avoid any similar incidents in the future.
The incident happened on Saturday May 14 when the boy was enjoying a meal with his family at a restaurant near Stalham.
His grandfather David Moss said when booking over the phone, he informed staff that his grandson had a nut and egg allergy.
“They assured me they could manage his allergies and the chef would accommodate and advise what he was safe to eat from the menu,” Mr Moss said.
During the meal, the waitress assured them each of the dishes was safe, he said, but was then served chocolate mousse containing eggs.
“Within a minute he was in anaphylactic shock and started vomiting,” Mr Moss said.
The boy’s father took him to where they were and gave him some medicine before calling the ambulance.
A community first responder and ambulance attended the scene and took the boy to James Paget Hospital in Gorleston for further assessment and treatment.
Mr Moss said his grandson stayed there until 2am.
“We trusted them and they disappointed us miserably. It was a traumatic event for the whole family,” he added.
Daniel Smith, co-owner of the Ingham Swan, which is featured in the 2022 Michelin Guide, said: “I sincerely apologize to the family. We are not happy with what happened.
“On this opportunitya member of staff did not follow systems and processes and was terminated.”
He said the restaurant will implement a new policy requiring customers with allergies to order all three courses at the start of their meal.
“In 12 and a half years of business, this has never happened before and we never want this to happen again,” Mr Smith said.
Since the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15, after eating a sandwich from Pret A Manger in 2016.
An inquest into Natasha’s death found the artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette the teenager ate contained sesame – to which she was allergic.
Sophie Leney, Head of Trading Standards, said of the incident at Ingham Swan: ‘This harrowing case shows how very serious allergic reactions to food can be. It is essential that companies have appropriate allergen management systems in place and that they are adhered to.
“Norfolk Trading Standards works regularly with businesses to ensure they have systems and procedures in place to comply with regulations and prevent allergy incidents. In all cases where an issue has been reported, we will visit the premises to ensure that they have appropriate processes in place and that staff are working on them.
“Norfolk Trading Standards has inspected the business where this incident occurred and provided clear advice and the business has taken steps to improve its procedures.”
“Making Food Allergy History”
The incident at the Ingham Swan comes as the parents of a teenager who died of an allergic reaction to a Pret baguette set up a groundbreaking trial in a bid to ‘make food allergy history’ .
Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse initiated the trial to determine if commonly available peanut and milk products, taken under medical supervision, can be used as a treatment for people with food allergies.
The couple lost their 15-year-old daughter, Natasha, in 2016 after suffering a severe allergic reaction to sesame seeds in a Pret baguette.
The new Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) trial will examine whether everyday foods can be used to treat people with allergies.
Last year the NHS backed Palforzia, a treatment to reduce the severity of reactions to peanuts. Patients are dosed monthly, allowing tolerance to be carefully built over time.