18-year-old died after suffering an allergic reaction despite checking ingredients, inquest hears

An inquest into the death of an 18-year-old student from Worsley, Salford, who died after eating a chicken burger has heard that she checked the ingredients before ordering.

Shahida Shahid who had allergies to dairy, nuts and shellfish, died after eating a chicken burger, which had been marinated in buttermilk, at Almost Famous in Manchester on 9 January 2015.

Lauren Davies told the inquest that her friend had spoken to a waiter about “what she can have and what she’s allergic to”. Davies said the waiter suggested the Awesome Frickin Chicken Sandwich without the coleslaw and sauce after consulting with the chef, Manchester Evening News reports.

After the meal Shahid, Davies and three other friends walked about a mile toward the Printworks entertainment venue before she started experiencing an allergic reaction.

Shahid instructed a friend, Nahla Halabi, on how to use the EpiPen in her bag. Halabi injected her upper thigh, but the jury heard that she wasn’t sure whether she “pressed the button or not”.

Security guards on duty at nearby bar Norwegian Blue, Imran Farooqi and Avais Ali, tried to help the group. Ali told the inquest jury that Shahid had told them she couldn’t be suffering an allergic reaction “because I clearly told the waiter”.

The University of Manchester student who was studying for a masters degree in maths died three days later in hospital.

Dr John Moore, consultant in critical care at Manchester Royal Infirmary, told the inquest today that nothing could have been done to save Shahid as she had suffered a cardiac arrest and a severe brain injury due to a lack of oxygen.

Shahid’s brother Sharma said when his sister went out for dinner she would inform waiters about her allergies and “normally stick to chicken or meat”.

He said: “One time they said ‘we can’t guarantee it doesn’t have dairy’. She said ‘thanks for telling me’ and left. She would not unnecessarily take risks. If she was told that, she would leave.”

The inquest, which opened on Monday, is expected to last eight days.

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