The owner of a takeaway restaurant has been fined £600 for serving a customer a meal containing peanut, when a nut-free meal was requested.

Abdul Hai, who has run the Spice House on High Street, Cleator Moor, for the past eight years, was fined £600 and ordered to pay £500 as a contribution to costs and a £60 victim surcharge at Workington Magistrates Court on Friday (December 11).

He pleaded guilty to selling unsafe food and having no food traceability systems in place.

On September 5 of last year, a Chicken Tikka Masala was ordered from the takeaway, which the customer stressed needed to be nut-free.

This was confirmed on collection, but after analysis, the meal was found to contain peanut at a dangerous level to those who are allergic.

Mr Hai was informed of the results, and was told not to serve those suffering from peanut allergies until he could be sure nut-free meals were guaranteed not to have any traces of nuts.

On December 5, 2019 Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards officers took a follow up sample of Chicken Tikka Masala from the takeaway.

It was again stated that the meal must be nut-free, and again was found to contain peanut at significant levels upon analysis.

The public analyst confirmed that there was a sufficient quantity of peanut in the Chicken Tikka Masala to present a real hazard to anyone suffering from a nut allergy.

Councillor Celia Tibble, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said: “It is vitally important that food outlets understand food allergies and the importance of preventing any cross-contamination occurring in their kitchens.

"To those who suffer from a peanut allergy, even a tiny amount of peanut protein contained within food can have devastating consequences.”