A restaurant has been cleared of any blame after a man with a nut allergy died after eating a takeaway curry that contained almonds.

Joseph Andrew Higginson, aged 27, known to his friends and family as Joe, sadly died at the Royal Bolton Hospital on January 4, 2023, after eating a Butter Chicken curry ordered from the Mala Indian restaurant in Holcombe Village, Ramsbottom, an inquest heard.

Assistant coroner for Greater Manchester North Julie Mitchell commended Joe’s family for their efforts to save his life. She made clear in her ruling no blame had been attributed to the restaurant.

Joe, from Ramsbottom, had an allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, and coconut, but was said to have eaten the curry despite the menu stating it contained almonds.

After his death, Joe helped to save the lives of others through organ donation.

The court heard written statements from Joe’s mother and sister, as well as from a range of medical professionals and specialists.

Joe’s sister, Emily Higginson, said her brother had first told her about his allergies in April 2022, months before his death, after reacting to a peanut protein bar, but said that he did not always take his allergies seriously.

Emily recounted the night of December 28, 2022, when the family ordered a takeaway curry from the Ramsbottom restaurant.

After eating some of his curry, Joe began to look sick and ran to the bathroom, putting his head into the sink.

Springing into action, sister Emily stabbed him in his right thigh with an EpiPen adrenaline injection but, she said, nothing happened.

Emily then placed Joe into the recovery position and shouted to her mother to ring 999, before going to her car to get her own supply of adrenaline while shouting to neighbours, known to be doctors, to help.

Prior to the ambulance attending, Joe was given CPR via mouth-to-mouth and chest compressions, and suffered from a swollen neck.

He was taken to intensive care at Royal Bolton Hospital, where he sadly died seven days later after suffering brain injuries as a result of a cardiac arrest before he arrived at hospital.

A routine police investigation into Joe’s death concluded that there was no evidence of criminality in Joe’s death.

Joe was said to have previously tolerated the butter chicken dish from the takeaway.

In her findings, coroner Julie Mitchell commended the ‘considerable efforts’ of Joe’s family to assist him and provide care to him, and said she was satisfied the ambulance service and paramedics had treated his case without delay.

She concluded Joe’s death was by ‘misadventure’ – a deliberate act with unintended consequences – after he deliberately ate the butter chicken dish despite knowing it contained almonds.

The medical cause of death was ascertained to be hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, and acute anaphylaxis caused by almonds.