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Man died after eating pizza ordered through Deliveroo as parents demand ‘full truth’

Written by on 9 May 2022

The parents of a man who died after eating pizza ordered through Deliveroo say they want the “full truth” about what happened to their son.

James Atkinson died in July 2020 after ordering a takeaway pizza from the Dadyal Restaurant in Newcastle via the Deliveroo app, his parents say.

The 23-year-old from Leeds, who had a known peanut allergy, is believed to have eaten one slice. His family have been told he may have suffered a severe allergic reaction.

A pre-inquest review into his death is due to open on Tuesday at Newcastle Coroner’s Court.

Mr Atkinson’s parents, Stuart and Jill, said their son was “conscientious” about checking ingredients as they called for the “full truth” about the circumstances leading to his death.

They have called for clearer displays of allergens to prevent a similar incident from happening to someone else.

Mr Atkinson told The Sunday Times: “We’d like to see a simple system where it comes up with a tick box before you make the order – do you have an allergy, yes or no?

“If you tick yes then it instructs you to contact the restaurant by telephone.

“Allergy information is always hidden away. It needs to be up front.”

Mrs Atkinson added: “What everybody needs is a clear, full list of ingredients on every item on a takeaway menu and a sticker on the takeaway box saying the allergens it contains.

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“We’ll never know if that would have saved James, but it might have done… we just don’t want this to happen to another family.”

The restaurant was suspended from Deliveroo after his death but remained on other food platforms.

Environmental health officials and police confirmed it could trade again later that month.

The restaurant’s owner reportedly said in 2020 that the order was placed online through Deliveroo and the website contained “very clear” information regarding allergens and food hygiene.

At the time, the “restaurant notes” section for Dadyal had a “cross-contamination notice” for peanuts, Deliveroo said.

Mr Atkinson moved to study computer science at Newcastle University, and after graduating he remained in the city where he lived with friends.

His family described him as a “bright and bubbly character who lived life to the full”, with a passion for sport which included completing a triathlon.

Deliveroo said: “This is a tragedy and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the young man who so sadly passed away.

“Deliveroo has been in contact with the police, who confirmed that the company has acted properly at all times, and continues to comply fully with this investigation.

“The company will co-operate in full with the coroner’s inquest and will share all information requested by the coroner.

“We are committed to doing all we possibly can to assist this investigation and our hearts go out to all those involved.”

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