Warning about nut allergy definitions

Nicole Forshaw suffered an allergic reaction after a curry at Pemberton Balti House
Nicole Forshaw suffered an allergic reaction after a curry at Pemberton Balti House

A WIGAN woman has warned people with food allergies to be extra vigilant after she suffered a severe reaction to her take-away tea.

Nicole Forshaw, who has a serious peanut allergy, ordered a peshwari naan from Pemberton Balti House using the allergy key on the menu, which stated it contained nuts (which she can eat), but had no traces of peanuts.

Pemberton Balti House

Pemberton Balti House

However, the 21-year-old, of Marsh Green, was subjected to an extreme anaphylactic shock, causing her throat to close up and she went to Wigan Infirmary for treatment.

She is now warning people with nut or peanut allergies to be extra cautious when ordering food, due to cross contamination and has contacted Trading Standards, as she believes the take-away’s allergy key needs to be altered.

A spokesman for the food outlet said they took every measure possible to prevent allergic reactions, including being scrupulous with warnings on their menu, although he did confirm there was peanut powder in the bread and they were working towards revising the menu.

Nicole said: “On the menu they had put a key with all allergy content so I deliberately picked a meal that didn’t contain peanuts. When making my order, I asked staff two times if anything I have ordered contain peanuts as I am allergic. They told me no. The next thing, my throat started to close and I had to go to hospital. It was awful and it panics me, as I feel I am going to stop breathing. I could die from it.

My mother-in-law rang the take-away later and apparently there was peanut powder in the naan bread

Nicole Forshaw

“My mother-in-law rang the take-away later and apparently there was peanut powder in the naan bread.

“I have only had an anaphylactic shock three times – once when I found out I had an allergy as a child and another time two years ago at the same curry house.

“I rang Trading Standards and they went to see them. I am more concerned about it happing to someone else, or a child, who may not be as lucky.”

Julie Middlehurst, regulatory services group manager at Wigan Council, said: “Following a complaint, we visited the premises and took a sample. We will continue to investigate the complaint and have spoken to the owner of the business who is co-operating with us. This premises was previously investigated following a complaint in January 2014. We gave advice to the business at that time and no further action was taken by us.

“New food allergen information requirements came into force in December 2014 and we are working with the catering industry to educate them about these new rules.”

When the Evening Post enquired at the Pemberton Balti House whether the peshwari naan had peanut powder, a member of staff confirmed it had, despite the menu only stating it had nuts. He added: “We realised the mistake and we are working to fix that.”