Montreal

Salmon tartare case has cooking school taking new measures for food allergies

The case of a Quebec waiter who mistakenly served salmon tartare to a man with a seafood allergy is having reverberations in the city where it happened, even though prosecutors decided not to lay charges.

Restaurants relieved Sherbrooke, Que., waiter won't be charged for criminal negligence

Steve Beauchemin teaches at Centre 24 juin in Sherbrooke, Que. (Radio-Canada)

The case of a Quebec waiter who mistakenly served salmon tartare to a man with a seafood allergy is having reverberations in the city where it happened, even though prosecutors decided not to lay charges.

Instructors at the professional training academy the waiter attended are trying out a new approach: serving customers with allergies a different coloured plate at the in-school restaurant.

Steve Beauchemin, who teaches at the school, called Centre 24-Juin, said he's relieved the waiter won't be charged. But he said the mishap has made everyone nervous. 

"We're a little on edge," he said. 

"In the kitchen, we always have people's lives in our hands."

The school already has a system in place whereby meat, fish and fruits and vegetables each get their own coloured cutting board.  

The system has made its way into some of the restaurants in the region.

At Centre 24-Juin, a cooking school in Sherbrooke, Que., students use coloured cutting boards to separate meat from fruit and vegetables. (Radio-Canada)

Simon-Pierre Canuel, a 34-year-old Gatineau resident, was treated for anaphylactic shock after eating at Le Tapageur restaurant May 29.

Canuel said he ordered beef tartare but was served salmon tartare instead. Canuel said he had told the waiter he was allergic to salmon and seafood.

On Wednesday, the office of Quebec's director of criminal and penal prosecutions said it had determined that the waiter did not commit a crime.

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

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