A pub has been fined thousands of pounds after a diner suffered a severe allergic reaction which left her in intensive care.

Ruth Holroyd visited The Artichoke in Croxley Green for a Christmas meal with work colleagues on November 28 last year.

Luton Magistrates' Court heard that Ms Holroyd's dairy allergies were made known to staff three times, but due to a breakdown in communication between front of house and the kitchen, she was served a starter containing milk.

As a result, Ms Holroyd suffered anaphylaxis - a severe allergic reaction - and she spent a night in intensive care at Watford General Hospital.

Fortunately, she made a recovery.

The Artichoke were prosecuted by Hertfordshire Trading Standards for serving food to a customer who suffered a severe allergic reaction.

In court on Monday, The Artichoke, through their legal representative, were regretful and remorseful for what had happened to Ms Holroyd and accepted they were vicariously responsible for the actions of their staff.

District Judge Nicholas Leigh-Smith said "the risk of harm from anaphylactic shock was death” and "that systems were not in place to prevent this".

They were fined £23,000 after pleading guilty to offences under the food safety act 1990 and food safety and hygiene regulations 2013.

The Artichoke, which has a five star food hygiene rating, were also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £170 and pay Hertfordshire Trading Standards Costs of £1,920.

Andrew Butler, head of regulatory services at Hertfordshire County Council, said: "This successful prosecution underlines the importance of eating establishments ensuring they provide appropriate staff training and have the correct procedures in place in relation to food allergy safety.

"This incident could have ended tragically, as severe allergies like this can risk a consumer’s life."