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Waiter Faces Jail Time for Ignoring Diner's Seafood Allergy

The customer was in a salmon tartare-induced coma for several days


A waiter in Canada could be charged with criminal negligence after one of his diners nearly died from his meal. CBC News reports that the customer, Simon-Pierre Canuel, “ordered a beef tartare and alerted the waiter that he was allergic to salmon and seafood.” After failing to take any notes, the waiter returned — with salmon tartare.

Canuel took only one bite of his food (he told the CBC that dim lighting in the restaurant made it difficult to tell it wasn’t beef) before going into anaphylactic shock. According to CBC, he was hospitalized in the intensive care unit, where he was treated for a severe allergic reaction and later suffered a cardiac arrest before falling into a coma for “several days.”

In July, Canuel filed a formal complaint against the water, who he alleges was “didn't inform the cooks of the allergy and instead was chatting, laughing and drinking alcohol with other guests.”

A criminal negligence conviction could lead to a range of penalties — including a fine or life in prison, though legal experts say that harsh of a punishment is unlikely.

A similar case occurred recently in the UK, where a restaurateur went on trial after one of his customers (who had a peanut allergy) died after eating a peanut-laced curry. The restaurant owner was eventually convicted of manslaughter and ordered to serve six years in jail for his negligence.

Quebec Waiter Arrested After Seafood Puts Allergic Customer in Coma [CBC News]

UK Restaurateur Gets Six Years in Jail After Customer Dies From Peanut-Laced Curry [E]