Caterers served Northamptonshire bride almond-filled cake...when she had a nut allergy

Kayleigh and Stephen on the night they got engaged.
Kayleigh and Stephen on the night they got engaged.

A Northamptonshire catering firm has been ordered to pay more than £3,000 after serving a bride with a nut allergy cake containing almonds on her wedding day.

Kayleigh Cortis and her husband Stephen hired Towcester-based Impressions Caterers Limited to provide the reception and the food for their wedding reception at Hunsbury Hill Centre in Northampton, in September 2016.

The couple had told the company about Mrs Cortis’s nut allergy and were assured the meal would be entirely nut-free. However, during the wedding buffet, she realised the sponge cake she was eating contained almonds.

In her witness statement, Mrs Cortis said: “Overall the day was ruined because I couldn’t eat, or at least keep anything I’d eaten down, I couldn’t drink anything other than water and I was left being sick throughout the day.”

Following an investigation by Northamptonshire County Council Trading Standards, Impressions Caterers Limited admitted an offence contrary to the Food Safety Act at a hearing at Wellingborough Magistrates’ Court on Monday (October 9).

The court heard how the company has since made changes to its processes and asked Trading Standards to visit their premises to make sure their systems are fully effective.

The firm was given a penalty of £3,156.36, which included a fine of £850, investigation costs and £85 victim surcharge fee.

County council cabinet member for public protection, strategic infrastructure and economic growth Councillor André Gonzalez de Savage said: “It is very important that food businesses have the processes in place to ensure they know which foods can cause allergies and intolerances and that everyone working for the business is aware of customer allergies.

“Catering firms must also display signs inviting consumers with allergies and intolerances – some of which can be life-threatening – to notify staff.

“Our Trading Standards team is keen to work with businesses to help them navigate food safety laws and would encourage anyone who would like support to get in touch.”

Food businesses can get more information on the help available from Trading Standards by visiting www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/tsbusiness-support.