THE parents of a 23-year-old man who died of a suspected severe allergic reaction after ordering pizza are calling for better allergen displays on takeaway boxes.

James Atkinson died on July 10, 2020, after ordering a takeaway pizza from the Dadyal Restaurant in Newcastle, according to Leigh Day, his family’s solicitors.

Mr Atkinson had a known allergy to peanuts, and his family have been told he might have suffered a severe allergic reaction.

A pre-inquest review into his death is due to open tomorrow (May 10) at Newcastle Coroners Court.

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Gulfam Ulhaq, believed to have been the restaurant owner, told the BBC in 2020 that the order was placed online through Deliveroo, and the website contained “very clear” information regarding allergens and food hygiene.

Mr Ulhaq told the BBC in 2020: “I was really shocked when police told me he had passed away and that he was only 23 years old. It is very, very sad. We are all in shock.”

At the time, the “restaurant notes” section for Dadyal had a “cross-contamination notice” for peanuts, Deliveroo sources have said.

Mr Atkinson’s parents, who said their son was “conscientious” about checking ingredients, want clearer displays of allergens to prevent a similar incident from happening to someone else.

His father Stuart said: “We’d like to see a simple system where it comes up with a tick box before you make the order — do you have an allergy, yes or no? If you tick yes, then it instructs you to contact the restaurant by telephone.

The Northern Echo: James Atkinson. Picture: PA MEDIA.James Atkinson. Picture: PA MEDIA.

“Allergy information is always hidden away. It needs to be up front.”

His mother Jill added: “What everybody needs is a clear, full list of ingredients on every item on a takeaway menu and a sticker on the takeaway box saying the allergens it contains. We’ll never know if that would have saved James, but it might have done… we just don’t want this to happen to another family.”

Mr Atkinson moved to study computer science at Newcastle University from his home city of Leeds, and after graduating, he remained in the city where he lived with friends.

The restaurant was immediately suspended from Deliveroo in July 2020 following Mr Atkinson’s death, but remained on other food platforms, until environmental health officials and police confirmed it could trade again later that month.

Deliveroo urges customers to contact restaurants directly to ask about ingredients and cooking methods, which are displayed in the “restaurant info” section, and its “allergens, hygiene rating and more” section, which are at the top of its menus.

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Restaurants can also add allergens notes to be displayed under each product. For restaurants where menus and ingredients change regularly, staff are encouraged to be trained to answer allergy queries over the phone.

According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), food businesses must inform customers if any products they provide contain any ingredients from a list of 14 allergens.

It adds that takeaways must make allergen information available before food is bought and when it is delivered.

The Northern Echo: Dadyal Restaurant in Newcastle. Picture: GOOGLE.Dadyal Restaurant in Newcastle. Picture: GOOGLE.

A Deliveroo spokesperson said: “This is a tragedy, and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the young man who so sadly passed away.

“Deliveroo has been in contact with the police, who confirmed that the company has always acted properly and continues to comply fully with this investigation. The company will co-operate in full with the coroner’s inquest and will share all information requested by the coroner.

“We are committed to doing all we possibly can to assist this investigation and our hearts go out to all those involved.”

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