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23-Year-Old James Atkinson Dies After Deliveroo Pizza Order: Now His Parents Want Change

One easy change to delivery apps could have avoided his death.

Rue89 Strasbourg & Dodo Pizza World / Flickr

James Atkinson died in July 2020, having eaten a pizza ordered on Deliveroo. His parents are after the truth of what happened to him, and want a change to Deliveroo’s policy in response.

James Atkinson ordered a pizza from Newcastle’s Dadyal Restaurant on Deliveroo shortly before his death. James had a peanut allergy, and it is theorized that his death was as a result of a deadly reaction to the pizza.

His parents maintain that James was ‘conscientious’ when it came to his allergy. He would always check the ingredients thoroughly before eating food he hadn’t himself prepared. As a result, his shock death has led Stuart and Jill to blame the systems upheld by Dadyal Restaurant and Deliveroo.

What do Jill and Stuart Atkinson want Deliveroo to change?

Given that James was always careful will ingredient lists relating to his allergy, the Atkinsons believe allergen information can’t have been clearly stated or made accessible to him.

This isn’t a new problem. They shared that often it is difficult to truly assess the allergen dangers of certain foods and drinks. Many others who suffer from allergies have run into similar problems.

That’s why Jill and Stuart’s desired changes aren’t just for Deliveroo, but for all food delivery apps.

In response to James’ death, the Atkinsons said to 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.

“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.

“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.”

How did Dadyal Restaurant respond?

After James’ death, Dadyal Restaurant confirmed that he had ordered from them through Deliveroo.

However, they contest the Atkinsons’ claim, and state that their website makes allergen information ‘very clear’.

Deliveroo also suggested this, pointing out that the restaurant notes part of the Deliveroo app contained a cross-contamination warning.

Despite this, Dadyal Restaurant has still been suspended from Deliveroo. On other takeaway apps, Dadyal Restaurant can be ordered from nonetheless.

How has Deliveroo responded to James Atkinson’s death?

James’ death is going to inquest this week, and Deliveroo has confirmed that they ‘have 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.’

They also made note that ‘this is a tragedy and [their] thoughts are with the family and friends’ of James.

Food sensitivities affect thousands of people around the globe, and while James’ death is a tragedy, hopefully some good can come from it in helping others who suffer.

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