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Former Love Island Star With Severe Nut Allergy Slams Emirates After Cabin Crew Insisted Cashew Loaded Meal Didn’t Have Nuts, Sending Him Into Anaphylactic Shock

Former Love Island Star With Severe Nut Allergy Slams Emirates After Cabin Crew Insisted Cashew Loaded Meal Didn’t Have Nuts, Sending Him Into Anaphylactic Shock

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A former contestant on the popular reality dating show Love Island has slammed Emirates Airline after cabin crew insisted that an inflight meal that was smothered with cashews did not contain any nuts despite him informing them that he suffered from a severe nut allergy.

Jack Fowler, who appeared in Season 4 of Love Island and now works as a personal trainer and DJ after he left the villa, was travelling with Emirates on a recent flight to Dubai when the terrifying medical incident occurred.

The 28-year-old nut allergy sufferer who can’t eat any form of nuts without having a reaction took to Instagram to share his story of what happened on the flight and to implore Emirates and other airlines to take severe food allergies more seriously.

Jack says that he wasn’t offered a menu during the flight, but during the main meal service, one of the cabin crew simply asked him if he wanted “chicken or fish?” without any further explanation.

Although he wanted the chicken dish, Jack told the crew member that he was severely allergic to nuts and was told that there were no nuts in the chicken curry. When he received the meal, Jack says he again asked the crew member whether the curry was free of nuts and was reassured that there were no nuts.

In actual fact, the inflight menu clearly stated that the Shahi chicken korma contained cashew nuts.

But as soon as Jack started to eat the curry, he started to feel his throat close up and he started to find it extremely difficult to breathe. At this point, Jack flagged down a crew member and again asked them if there were any nuts in the curry.

Shockingly, he was told for a third time that the meal was nut-free.

Jack says it was only after his friend demanded to see a menu that it dawned on them that there were cashews in the meal and he was suffering a potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction.

Thankfully, Jack had an EpiPen Auto-Injector on him, which he quickly self-administered to deliver a life-saving dose of Epinephrine. Cabin crew then placed him on oxygen, getting through five bottles of O2 until the plane eventually landed in Dubai.

“Emirates it is not good enough,” Jack slammed in his Instagram post. “I’m lucky to be able to have a platform to make as many people aware of your complete negligence.”

“You are responsible for your passengers and their safety. Giving a passenger food which they’ve stated TWICE will cause extreme harm is unacceptable.”

Cashew nuts are a common ingredient in Middle Eastern curries and are regularly served in Emirates’ inflight meals. Back in 2018, a pair of British siblings with severe nut allergies who were flying to Dubai with Emirates said they were forced to cover their heads with blankets for the entire flight because meals with cashew nuts.

According to the Emirates website, the airline cannot guarantee a nut-free environment onboard its planes and does not offer any form of accommodations for severe nut allergy sufferers, such as allowing them to board early to wipe down their seats or creating buffer zones where nuts won’t be used.

This policy is actually in line with recommendations from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which recommends severe allergy sufferers to always carry their medication with them and to even pack their own food to avoid eating an airline meal that might have nuts or other allergens.

Very few airlines offer special allergen-free meals, partly because of the risk of cross-contamination, as well as the cost of producing these meals in special food preparation facilities.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Emirates told us: “We are sorry to hear of Mr Fowler’s experience and our teams on ground are providing him with all possible assistance. The safety and health of our customers is taken very seriously.”

“While Emirates aims to cater to customers with specific needs by offering a variety of special meals that cover medical, dietary, and religious requirements, we cannot guarantee a nut-free inflight environment. We urge travellers with dietary or other medical requirements to check our website and consult their doctor before travel.”

View Comments (3)
  • Well, cashews are not nuts in the biological sense, and cashew allergy is different from nut allergy, although they can occur simultaneously. It is possible that the flight attendants checked the allergen lists and rightly responded the food doesn’t contain nuts.

  • Yet again a passenger not taking responsibility and failing to take their own food – that’s what I’d do if I had a life threatening allergy. I wouldn’t dream of just hoping that any other person or corporation should provide safe food, because even if a situation has been risk assessed, mistakes happen.

  • Cashews are legumes and not nuts. However, many people who are allergic to nuts are allergic to cashews. It is unfortunate, but I am surprised that someone with extreme allergies would not know to ask about crossover allergies. It would be nice if airlines could provide an ingredient list for passengers to review.

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