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Shahida Shahid death: Teenager ‘told Almost Famous about her food allergies before eating’, inquest hears

The 18-year-old died after meal at Almost Famous and initial tests revealed cause of death was brain damage caused by allergic reaction

Tragic teenager Shahida Shahid is thought to have told Almost Famous staff about her food allergies before eating there, an inquest has heard.

The 18-year-old died after a meal at the trendy burger bar and initial tests revealed the cause of death was brain damage caused by a severe allergic reaction.

Police understand staff at Almost Famous advised Shahida that a chicken dish would be appropriate for her after she flagged up her allergies.


Almost Famous in the Great Northern Warehouse

 

But Detective Inspector Chris Flint, speaking at the opening of her inquest at Manchester Coroner’s Court, said the dish is thought to have contained, or was cooked in, one of the ingredients she was allergic to.

Shahida collapsed within an hour of leaving Almost Famous, in the Great Northern Warehouse, on Peter Street off Deansgate.

The court heard how the Manchester University maths student, from Worsley, Salford, suffered ‘irreversible and unsurvivable’ brain damage and died three days later.

Det Insp Flint, based at GMP’s headquarters in Central Park, said: “We understand, although it is not entirely clear, that she indicated to waiting staff what her allergies were and what meal would be appropriate for her. She was advised that a particular chicken dish would be appropriate and that was ordered and consumed.”

He added: “It is understood the dish did contain or was cooked in one of the ingredients she was allergic to.”

Shahida, who had a number of food allergies as well as asthma, had gone for a meal at Almost Famous with a group of friends at about 6.30pm on Friday.

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The inquest was told that she had begun to feel unwell near the Printworks, on Withy Grove, shortly after.

When it became apparent she may have eaten something she was allergic to, she used her inhaler and her epi-pen, which gives a shot of adrenaline to treat severe allergic reactions.

But they had no effect and she collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest.

An ambulance was called shortly after 8pm and she was taken to the A&E at Manchester Royal Infirmary before being transferred to the intensive care unit. She died on Monday.

The Home Office post mortem revealed the provisional cause of death was hypoxic encephalopathy – damage caused to the brain by oxygen starvation – due to anaphylaxis – a severe allergic reaction.

Det Insp Flint told the inquest that the force had launched a joint investigation into the incident with the Food Standards Agency.

He said laws surrounding information that businesses have to provide to people with allergies had changed in December last year – and Almost Famous was ‘aware’ of this.

Coroner Nigel Meadows said the investigation into Shahida’s death, despite being in its early stages, was a ‘timely reminder’ to the food industry about the significance of providing information to customers with food allergies.

He added: “The law has relatively recently changed and new regulations came into force in August and more new EU regulations in December.

“This case clearly serves as a timely reminder to the food industry regarding these requirements.”

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A spokeswoman for Almost Famous said: “Three of the four staff that were involved in last week’s tragic incident have been put on compassionate leave and are being fully supported by our business while the investigation is pending.”

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