Girl chokes on chicken bone at UAE eatery; staff cleared of charges
Her father filed a complaint against the restaurant and a staff member whose name was on the bill.
A Fujairah eatery’s staff member has been cleared of charges after being accused of causing a girl to choke on a chicken bone.
The Fujairah Appellate Court has upheld the defendant’s acquittal based on insufficient evidence.
The eight-year-old girl’s Emirati father argued that his daughter swallowed the small bone while eating a meal of chicken strips. “The restaurant and staff should be held responsible for putting my daughter’s life at risk. She was choking to death because of the chicken bone that blocked her airway,” he told the court.
The Fujairah Court of First Instance cleared the restaurant and staff of negligence due to lack of evidence.
The defendant, the eatery’s cashier, denied any responsibility. “The father does not have any evidence that I was responsible for the chicken bone swallowed by mistake by his daughter and caused her a serious problem,” he said.
He explained that he was only a member of a big restaurant crew working together to serve customers. “There is no specific staff assigned for a certain meal,” he pointed out.
Dissatisfied with the court’s initial verdict, the angry father took the case to the higher court, stressing that his daughter threw up twice and suffered from a serious sore throat after the incident.
“I filed a complaint against the restaurant and the staff who took my order, and whose name was on the meal invoice,” the father said.
The defendant clarified that according to the restaurant’s policy, the name of the staff member who took the order must be included on the bill, “however, this person is not necessarily the one who prepared or served the meal”.
The restaurant supervisor argued that there was no violation registered against the eatery or staffer. He added that the chicken meals they serve are always collected packed and frozen, and only fried when ordered. Staff members do not touch them. “A pair of tongs are always used in handling chicken, whether placing them in sandwiches or putting them in meals.”
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