Food delivery apps under scrutiny following death of Greek Australian teenager in 2021 – Neos Kosmos

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When 17-year-old Brighton Grammar student James Tsindos passed away in 2021, it shocked the Greek and Cypriot community in Melbourne, with news also spreading to local media in Cyprus.

James died from anaphylaxis after eating a burrito bowl he had ordered online, not knowing cashews were one of the ingredients in a sauce.

Now just over two and half years later, the ABC has reported an inquest into online food orders is underway with a review into whether food delivery companies should list ingredients. Meanwhile the family barrister has called for an investigation into James Tsindos’ medical treatment.

Victorian coroner Sarah Gebert has ordered a full inquest into the Greek Australian’s death, saying that there is a number of differing opinions from numerous medical experts about the treatment James received after eating the meal.

According to a Rachel Ellyard, a counsel assisting the inquiry, James had a history of allergic rhinitis and asthma, and on May 27, 2021 noticed his lip swelling, tingling in his throat and abdominal pain after he ate the food he had ordered from a local vegan restaurant using the Deliveroo app.

Ellyard says James only learned that cashews were in the sauce when he called the restaurant.

His father Harry rang paramedics, who arrived within 11 minutes and gave James an adrenaline shot. They had initially thought he responded well.

Later, he was taken to Holmesglen Private Hospital but an hour later developed a wheeze, and eventually went into cardiac arrest.

After being transferred to the Alfred Hospital intensive care unit, he passed away on June 1, 2021.

The ABC said that Tsindos family’s barrister Paul Halley shared that there were concerns about the boy’s treatment in hospital and that there should be an investigation due to inconsistencies in medical records.

He also said the community needed to feel assured that they would be alerted to the risk of allergens in online food orders.

“The family have grave concerns about the method in which the burrito bowl was advertised on Deliveroo,” he said.

“It made it very difficult to find any mention that cashews were any part of the make-up of the dish.

“I’m sure if I went to a restaurant to eat a burrito it would be plastered all over the place that this contains cashews.”

According to coroner Gebert, under current regulations, restaurants and takeaway businesses are not require to tell customers if food contained ingredients like nuts.

She said that they will call on medical experts to give evidence at the inquest and look to the Victorian health department to see if there needs to be any further community education or an update to regulations.

The inquest could run for two days later this year, potentially in July or August.

Neos Kosmos reached out to the Tsindos family for comment, but are unable to make comment at this stage.

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