A teenager with a severe dairy allergy died after restaurant staff told him his birthday meal was safe to eat
- Owen Carey died in 2017 from a severe allergic reaction, and a recently conducted inquest revealed that the 18-year-old had eaten grilled chicken soaked in buttermilk at Byron Burger, a chain restaurant in London.
- Assistant coroner Briony Ballard said "the menu was reassuring in that it made no reference to any marinade or potential allergenic ingredient in the food selected," the UK Press Association reported.
- Carey's family is now calling upon the government to improve allergen labelling laws in restaurants.
- Carey's mother described her son as someone who was "always smiling and wanted to get the most out of life," BBC reported, and his father said he was "an excellent chap, a beautiful boy and a great mate".
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A British teenager was celebrating his 18th birthday in 2017, and told restaurant staff that he had a severe dairy allergy. But he died from a severe allergic reaction after thinking his meal was safe to eat.
A recently conducted inquest revealed that Owen Carey had eaten grilled chicken soaked in buttermilk at Byron Burger, a chain restaurant in London, the UK Press Association reported.
"The menu was reassuring in that it made no reference to any marinade or potential allergenic ingredient in the food selected," assistant coroner Briony Ballard told the Press Association.
Carey's family is now calling on the government to improve allergen labelling laws in restaurants following the teen's death.
"It's simply not good enough to have a policy which relies on verbal communication between the customer and their server, which often takes place in a busy, noisy restaurant where the turnover of staff is high and many of their customers are very young," Emma Kocher, Carey's sister, said during a news conference last week.
Byron CEO Simon Wilkinson issued a statement on Friday, extending his condolences and saying that the restaurant chain takes "allergies extremely seriously and have robust procedures in place".
"We believe that Byron always did its best to meet our responsibilities, but we know that this will be of no comfort to Owen's family," Wilkinson said, adding: "It is clear that the current rules and requirements are not enough and the industry needs to do more - more to help support customers with allergies and more to raise awareness of the risks of allergies."
He said it will be the company's "priority to work with our colleagues across the restaurant industry to ensure that standards and levels of awareness are improved".
Carey's mother described her son as someone who was "always smiling and wanted to get the most out of life," the BBC reported, and his father said he was "an excellent chap, a beautiful boy, and a great mate".
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