Waiter won’t be charged for serving salmon to man with seafood allergy

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A Sherbrooke, Que., waiter who served salmon tartare to a man with a seafood allergy won’t be charged with criminal negligence.

Police had previously said the server could be charged.

Simon-Pierre Canuel, a 34-year-old Gatineau resident, was treated for anaphylactic shock after eating the food on May 29.

In a document obtained by Radio-Canada, the office of Quebec’s director of criminal and penal prosecutions said it had determined that the waiter did not commit a criminal infraction.

The case generated heated debate about the rights and responsibilities of restaurant staff and those of people with food allergies.

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​One Montreal restaurant owner called the Crown prosecutor’s office decision a good move.

“I think it’s a win-win situation for both people with allergies and for restaurants. Restaurants would become incredibly fearful of feeding anybody who mentioned they had any food allergies at all,” David Ferguson, owner of Gus Restaurant, told CBC Montreal’s radio show Homerun. “And particularly the fact that was it a server who could be charged — I’d feel very awkward putting one of my servers into that situation.”

Ferguson said the culture has changed a lot in recent years around food allergies, and it’s something restaurants take very seriously.

“It’s unfortunate what happened. Sometimes things do slip through the cracks, but if we’re living in a world of litigation and criminal charges then it will just make everybody fear even more.”

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Waiter won’t be charged for serving salmon to man with seafood allergy

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