Quebec Waiter Arrested for Serving Seafood to Allergic Customer

A resident of Gatineau, Que., Simon-Pierre Canuel, has accused a waiter from Sherbrooke restaurant, Le Tapageur, of serving him salmon even though he was highly allergic to it and informed it in advance. The waiter was arrested on Wednesday and experts say it could be one of its kind case in Canadian because the waiter could be charged with criminal negligence. In the formal complaint launched by Canuel, he says he nearly died from his meal.

The complaint reveals that Canuel ordered a beef tartare May 29and alerted the waiter that he was allergic to salmon and seafood. Sherbrooke police Const. Martin Carrier read that “at the time of the order, the waiter took no notes and never went to the kitchen to talk with staff.” According to Canuel, “with the dim lighting, it’s not easy to tell the difference between two dishes, especially if they use mayonnaise. It can be confusing,” so he took a bite and soon realized he wasn’t eating beef and informed his partner, who is a resident doctor. “He confirmed that it was salmon and he said we had to go to hospital. We told the waiter, who apologized, saying he would bring me beef,” adding that “that’s when I started going into anaphylactic shock and having difficulty breathing.”

Moreover, Canuel had left his EpiPen in his car so he was hospitalized at the intensive care unit of the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke, where he was treated for a severe allergic reaction. He says he also suffered a cardiac arrest the following day and was in a coma for a several days. He alleged that “I almost died.”

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