Megan Lee: Takeaway bosses jailed over nut allergy death

Harun Rashid (left) and Mohammed Kuddus (right)Image copyright

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Harun Rashid (left) and Mohammed Abdul Kuddus both denied causing Megan Lee’s death

A takeaway owner and manager, who caused a teenage girl’s death by sending her a meal containing peanuts, have been jailed for manslaughter.

Megan Lee, 15, suffered irreversible brain damage after having an allergic reaction to food from Royal Spice in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, in 2016.

Mohammed Abdul Kuddus and Harun Rashid were found guilty in October.

At Manchester Crown Court earlier, Kuddus was jailed for two years and Rashid for three.

In sentencing, Mrs Justice Yip told them Megan was responsible enough to highlight her allergies when placing the order but “sadly the same responsibility was not at your end”.

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Megan Lee died two days after she was admitted to Royal Blackburn Hospital

Judge Yip said the takeaway had no systems or processes to manage allergen control.

“The menu contained no information about allergens. No record was kept of the ingredients used in dishes,” she said.

“In short, it appears that no-one at the takeaway had any way of knowing what allergens were in the food supplied.”

Owner Kuddus, 40, of Belper Street, Blackburn, had admitted two health and safety charges on behalf of himself and the takeaway, but both he and Rashid, 38, of Rudd Street, Haslingden, denied manslaughter.

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Royal Spice was closed down following Megan’s death but later reopened under new ownership

Their trial heard Megan suffered an acute asthma attack after eating food from Royal Spice on 30 December 2016, which her friend had ordered with a note reading “prawns, nuts” to show her allergies.

She died two days later in hospital.

The teenager’s meal, which included an onion bhaji, a seekh kebab and a Peshwari naan, was found to have the “widespread presence” of peanut protein.

‘Breaks our hearts’

After the verdicts in October, Megan’s father Adam warned takeaway owners: “Do not play Russian roulette with precious lives.”

In a statement read outside court at the time, Adam and Gemma Lee said their lives would never be the same after Megan’s death.

They said: “It breaks our hearts that Megan didn’t get the chance to sit her GCSE exams, something she had worked so incredibly hard for, to celebrate her 16th birthday or go to the school prom with her friends.”

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