High-end Indian restaurants in London issue allergy warnings

August 24th, 2008 - 2:39 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 24 (IANS) If you’re nutty about nut allergies you eat at your own risk. That’s the disclaimer Masala World, London’s famous Indian restaurants chain, is issuing to diners in retaliation to a legal action threat by an allergic customer.Managers at the up-market London chain, which include Chutney Mary in Chelsea and the award-winning Amaya in Belgravia, show all customers who say they have the allergy a 100-word health warning.

The group, which serves more than 800,000 customers a year, also owns Veeraswamy in Regent Street and the popular Masala Zone chain. Gwyneth Paltrow and Jemima Khan are regulars at the £65-a-head Amaya.

The card makes clear that while only some dishes have nuts as an ingredient, all may become accidentally contaminated with traces of nut in the kitchen.

The drastic step has been taken following a threat of legal action by a customer who suffered a serious allergic reaction to a dish which did not contain nuts in its recipe.

In the past, managers at the restaurants have spoken to allergy sufferers about the risks of contamination. Menus have also stated that all dishes may contain traces of nuts. But following the legal threat, Masala World toughened its stance, and even banned allergy sufferers from using its restaurants for a week while it reviewed its policy.

From this month, customers at its five Masala Zone restaurants in London who state that they suffer from a nut allergy are being asked by managers to read the cards, Daily Mail said.

Piero Sardano, Masala World’s operations director, said: ‘We do sympathise with customers with nut allergies but without setting up a separate sterile kitchen to prepare nut-free dishes we are not equipped to cater for people with severe nut allergies.”

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