A pub has apologised to a diner who was left in intensive care after suffering a severe allergic reaction.

The Artichoke in Croxley Green was prosecuted by Hertfordshire Trading Standards after customer Ruth Holroyd, who has dairy allergies, was served a starter containing milk on November 28 last year.

Luton Magistrates Court heard this was due to a breakdown in communication between front of house and the kitchen after Ms Holroyd’s allergies were made clear to the pub three times.

She was rushed to Watford General Hospital after suffering anaphylaxis – a severe allergic reaction. Fortunately, she made a recovery.

In court on Monday, The Artichoke was fined £23,000 after pleading guilty to offences under the Food Safety Act 1990 and Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations 2013.

The pub has since said in a statement that the incident was “regrettable” and has apologised to Ms Holroyd.

It said: “We are proud of our exemplary record and the five-star food hygiene rating we hold. However, even maintaining the highest score cannot mitigate the vagaries of human error, which led to this most regrettable incident.

“We have wholeheartedly apologised to the guest, and we would seek to echo that apology here.

“Following this incident, we took the opportunity to review our existing processes and systems. We used the findings of that review to improve our already robust processes further, and as a business, our commitment to customer safety and wellbeing remains paramount.

“We work daily to ensure the dining experience at The Artichoke is both enjoyable and responsible, and we are grateful for the support the local community continues to give us.”

It added that that incident was deemed to be “isolated” and that “as the Judge recognised, we have very high standards”.

The statement added: “From the outset, we accepted our responsibility for the actions of our team. This includes, in this case, their failings

"As a small independent business, we have always sought to ensure that our customers are happy with the food, service and overall experience that we offer.

“Over the last seven years of serving the community of Croxley, we have delivered over 400,000 dishes to our valued guests without an issue of this kind.”

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.