Toddlers are given bleach at restaurant

The parents of two toddlers have described their horror after the youngsters became violently ill when staff at a Sheffield restaurant accidentally filled their drinks bottles with cleaning fluid.

According to their lawyers, the mix-up happened when Philip and Claire Martin went for a meal with their friends, Stuart and Diane Watkinson, at the Toby Carvery, in Ecclesall Road South, in Sheffield.

Sophie Watkinson, then 16 months, and Daniel Martin, one, were left violently coughing, choking and vomiting when staff mistook a jug of fluid used to clean the drinks pipes for water.

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Claire Martin, 37, and Stuart Watkinson, 36, were horrified to find it smelled like bleach.

Both children were taken to Sheffield Children’s Hospital for cautionary treatment for burns to their mouths and were kept in for observation before being discharged.

Mr Watkinson, from Sheffield, said: “When I took a sip of the water Sophie had been drinking I couldn’t believe it. It felt like I was drinking bleach. The taste was horrific and I immediately spat it out.

“To know my child had drunk such a dangerous substance through no fault of her own made me absolutely furious. A moment’s carelessness could have devastated our lives.

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“I want assurances that steps will be taken so an incident like this cannot happen again.”

Their lawyer, Kathryn Baines, from law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “It beggars belief that this hazardous liquid was, as we understand it, left in a water jug without any warning or hazard signs to identify it and that it was then placed in containers that were clearly meant for children.”

“This basic error in health and safety procedures could have had utterly devastating consequences for one or both families.”

Mr and Mrs Martin are from Bury, Great Manchester.

The restaurant firm, which is owned by Mitchells & Butlers, said it had admitted liability and was in contact with Mr and Mrs Martin’s solicitors. It said: “The safety and well-being of our customers is our primary concern.”

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