Restaurant owner Mohammed Zaman, 52, has been found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence in the anaphylactic shock death of a customer in the United Kingdom who was allergic to peanuts. In the sentencing, which was also for six food safety offenses, the Teesside Crown Court imposed a six-year jail term on Zaman. The sentence was specifically for the death of 38-year-old Paul Wilson. Margaret Wilson, mother of the deceased, told the court that her son was “meticulous” in managing his peanut allergy. The bar manager from Helperby, North Yorkshire, had specifically asked for “no nuts” in ordering a chicken tikka masala from one of Zaman’s restaurants in January 2014. The “no nuts” instruction was written on the order and on top of the takeaway box. The court heard evidence that Zaman, in a cost-cutting move, had substituted almond powder for a cheaper nut mix that contained peanuts. Zaman is a native of Bangladesh who moved to the U.K. at age 15. Shortly thereafter, he began working in the restaurant business and eventually became an owner. He came to own six restaurants, winning awards from the British Catering Association and British Curry Awards. The prosecution of Zaman for a specific food-related death is said to be without precedent in Britain. In the U.S., five Peanut Corporation of America executives and managers were convicted in 2014 for offenses related to a 2008-09 Salmonella outbreak that contributed to nine deaths. They were sentenced a year later to a total of 62 years in prison, but none of those convictions were for causing any specific deaths.
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