An inquest into the death of a 15-year-old girl who had a severe allergic reaction to a sandwich is expected to examine if product labeling laws surrounding food prepared in off-site kitchens need tightening, it has been reported.
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse bought the artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette from Pret A Manager at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 (pictured), not knowing it contained sesame seeds. She tragically collapsed on a flight from London to Nice and later died in hospital.
Sesame is one of 14 allergens that must be listed in pre-packaged food made off premises, but loopholes mean companies do not have to list the information on food prepared on the same day in an on-site kitchen.
The case could trigger civil actions should the coroner find problems with the allergy information, according to The Metro.
Nadim Ednan-Laperouse, the girl’s father, yesterday said she told him she “found a baguette that contained all the ingredients she loved and could eat”. The label gave “no indication sesame seeds were present,” he added.
But Oliver Campbell QC, for Pret, said he “must unfortunately be mistaken” about the packaging, saying they do not typically display ingredients.
In a statement at the start of the inquest, Pret said: “We were deeply saddened to hear about Natasha’s tragic death, and our heartfelt thoughts are with her family and friends. We take food allergies and how allergen information is provided to our customers extremely seriously. We will continue to do all that we can to assist the coroner’s inquest.”
The company said it provides an allergen guide in stores showing those contained in its products.