Megan’s parents bid to raise allergy awareness
THE parents of a teenager who died after having an allergic reaction to a takeaway meal have spoken out to encourage businesses to be allergy aware.
Adam and Gemma Lee’s daughter Megan was 15 when she suffered a fatal asthma attack after eating a meal which contained peanuts.
Now the couple, from Oswaldtwistle, have made a film to urge businesses to have the ‘right attitude to allergens’.
They hope the video, which features treasured photos and video of the Oswaldtwistle schoolgirl growing up, will help stop another family going through the same ordeal they have.
Gemma said: “We can’t change our story as much as we would love to. But what we can do is help others by stopping this story happening to someone else’s family.”
Adam said: “If businesses aren’t 100 per cent sure about the ingredients in their products then they must not supply that food to their customers. It’s better to be safe than sorry. We hope that by making this video with Trading Standards we will make business owners and their staff think about their actions. No-one wants another tragedy to happen.”
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health for Lancashire County Council, said food allergies are a ‘serious and growing public health issue’.
He said: “We want to reach as many people as possible with the message behind this campaign, and hope the video will help prevent another tragedy from happening.”
Last month two men were jailed for a total of five years after being found guilty of unlawfully killing St Christopher’s High school pupil Megan.
Hyndburn council’s food and safety team have organised more free allergen awareness workshops for local businesses in the New Year.
The interactive sessions will be held on January 29 and 31 at Scaitcliffe House in Accrington with more workshops held every month throughout 2019.
Councillor Paul Cox, cabinet member for environmental issues, said: “Business owners must make sure that they make information about food ingredients available to consumers, and to make sure consumers with allergies are protected from the potentially fatal consequences of anaphylactic shock.”
For more information call 01254 388111 or visit www.food.gov.uk/ business-guidance/ allergen-guidance-forindustry.
Megan Lee’s parents Adam and Gemma