After being served dairy in a pub last year I had a very severe anaphylactic reaction and ended up in intensive care over night. This is my Personal Witness Statement.
I’ve been wanting to share this with you all for some time now but it’s a difficult one for me. Talking about anaphylaxis is very personal; sometimes it really upsets me. This year I’ve reached a place (over a year after the last incident) where I feel I can talk about what happened and remain calm and in control.
The experience, of a very severe allergic reaction and a night in intensive care will never leave me.
So here is my Personal Witness Statement, which I read out in court last year. Trading Standards prosecuted the pub who made a mistake and served me a meal containing dairy by mistake, despite numerous checks and communications both before and on the day.
I don’t want to dwell on where this happened or call out the pub in question. I know this was a very difficult time for them and I hope they continue to serve their local community safely.
They were fined £23k by Trading Standards but I would like to stress, that this money goes to the local council, none of it paid to the victim (I hate that word)
If you want to read more about this incident, here are a few links:
In response to the pubs repeated assertions that they wholeheartedly apologised to me, they actually didn’t. I suspect their lawyers guarded them against getting in contact, but I didn’t feel that anyone really apologised apart from one email when it happened and that was only in response to my email to them. It was pretty much radio silence and it felt to me that no one cared and that they were just hoping it would all blow over.
Advice to any restaurants who are unfortunate enough to experience an allergy related incident, I would offer some advice:
- Be upfront, honest and kind to the customer. Sit with them, talk to them, explain what might have gone wrong. Do not hide, ignore the customer and refuse to communicate, which is what happened in my case, though I suspect this was more down to fear from the staff who hadn’t had sufficient training to know how to deal with such a serious incident.
- Say Sorry – And really mean it. I never felt that anyone from the pub tried to contact me, apologised or reached out. Though as I said above, this may have been on the advice of their lawyers.
Anyway I hope you found the video of my statement interesting. It was certainly a difficult document to write and even harder to read it out myself in court, but I’m so glad I did.
This was made doubly difficult because I could see the owners of the pub in the room at the time. A very emotional experience and I did struggle to get through it all without shedding a few tears.
Thanks for watching and I’d love to hear your thoughts.
How do you find it eating out with your allergies? Are you too scared to eat out? Do you find it hard to trust pubs and restaurants to take your requests seriously?