Northern Ireland

Scottish bakery fined after boy, four, almost dies

eggs Image copyright Getty Images

A man whose son almost died after eating a biscuit which contained eggs has said his confidence in food labelling has been undermined.

Stephen Bingham's four-year-old son Joshua was hospitalised with anaphylactic shock after having Empire Biscuits at a cafe in Belfast.

A Scottish bakery was fined £6,000 on Tuesday over the April 2018 incident.

Mr Bingham and his wife, from Holywood, County Down, checked the ingredients on the label but they did not list eggs.

Nevis Bakery who are based in Inverness-shire pleaded guilty to not referring to the presence of eggs in its Empire Biscuits.

The prosecution was taken by Belfast City Council.

Mrs Bingham administered his Epipen and the family called for an ambulance.

Mr Bingham said that Joshua would have died if the family had not had the device with them.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Nevis Bakery is based in Fort William in Scotland

He said that companies must take note of legislation and understand the seriousness of what they are putting into their products in order to avoid potential tragedies.

Nevis Bakery have since reissued Empire biscuits with the correct allergen information and ingredients clearly listed on the packaging.

It also pleaded guilty to placing food (the same biscuit) that was deemed unsafe and considered injurious to health to a specific category of consumers on the market.

They were fined a total of £6,000 and ordered to pay more than £3,000 legal costs.

Food Standards Scotland announced that Nevis Bakery recalled Empire Biscuits because they contained egg not mentioned on the label on 5 April 2018.

No other Nevis Bakery products were known to be affected.

The company has since reissued Empire Biscuits with the correct allergen information and ingredients clearly listed on the packaging.

What causes an allergy?

An allergy is caused by the immune system fighting substances in the environment that it should see as harmless, known as allergens.

These innocent substances become targets, leading to allergic reactions.

Symptoms range from skin redness, hives and swelling to - in the most severe cases - vomiting, diarrhoea, difficulty breathing and anaphylactic shock.

Some people are allergic to eggs. It is quite common in children under five but rare for it to develop in adulthood.

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