Detectives investigating how a North Yorkshire pub manager came to suffer a fatal nut allergy have arrested two men in connection with the death.
The men aged 38 and 51 were held over the death of Paul Wilson, 38, who was pronounced dead after being found unresponsive in the living quarters of the Oak Tree Inn, in Helperby, on January 30.
Mr Wilson’s death is the third in recent weeks reported to be linked to an allergic reaction to peanuts in takeaways.
North Yorkshire Police say the arrested men were detained on April 8 and released on bail as enquiries continue. A spokesman said: “Officers are working with Trading Standards to establish the circumstances surrounding Mr Wilson’s death.”
The probe comes ahead of the Government introducing new food information regulations later this year, which stipulate eating establishments must provide detailed information about any allergens contained in their food.
Connor Donaldson, 12, from Tyldesley, Greater Manchester, and Derek Stephenson, 32, a gardener from Stanhope, Co Durham, are also reported to have died in separate cases. Some people suffer an allergic reaction if they eat any type of nut, but others can safely eat almonds and pistachios grown on trees and are only affected by peanuts, also known as ground nuts, grown in soil.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has ordered councils to encourage restaurant owners to check their ingredients.
Almond prices have doubled in a year and officials fear cheaper ground peanuts are being added to almond powder, and some takeaway owners are using peanuts to save money.