The head chef of a Manchester restaurant has denied telling police a “terrible mistake” had been made when a student was served a chicken burger marinated in buttermilk that caused her to suffer a fatal allergic reaction.
Giving evidence at the inquest into the death of Shahida Shahid, 18, of Greater Manchester, DC Robert Ashurst had claimed that former head chef of Almost Famous, Liam Tse, told officers a “terrible mistake” had been made.
But when Tse took to the stand he denied the claims, the Manchester Evening News reports. He also told the coroner’s court he was only asked about a marinara sauce.
The inquest heard that two of the restaurant’s burgers came with the sauce, one of them being the ‘awesome frickin’ chicken’ burger, which killed the university student on 9 January 2015.
Yesterday, waiter Reiss Balfour told the jury he had discussed Shahid’s allergies to dairy, nuts and shellfish with Tse who suggested the burger. Tse said today he advised that she stay away from all mayonnaise-based sauces, burger buns and beef burgers.
Manchester City Council representative Sophie Cartwright asked Tse: “You are the head chef and you have a knowledge of the ingredients, would that not prompt you to say ‘she’s got dairy allergy and there’s a risk of one of the two burgers [on the menu] and I need to be sure which she’s asking about’?”
Tse replied: “No, I wasn’t asked about the dish. I was asked about the sauce. In my mind I didn’t think ‘she might have been having one of these dishes’.
Ashurst told the jury yesterday that the kitchen was divided in two, with one half handling the first 20 orders and the second with the next 20. The court heard that Tse’s half of the kitchen did not monitor the order.
The inquest continues on Monday.
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