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Coroner calls Pret A Manger labelling ‘inadequate’ in allergy death

Pret A Manger’s allergy labelling has been deemed “inadequate” by the coroner investigating the death of a 15-year-old girl who died of an allergic reaction to a baguette she purchased from the store.

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15, went into cardiac arrest on a flight after buying a sandwich at Pret A Manger Heathrow Airport in 2016. The baguette contained artichoke, olive and tapenade, however the inquest heard that it also contained sesame – which Ednan-Laperouse was allergic to – but was not identified on the packaging.

Coroner Dr Sean Cummings, delivering his conclusion to West London Coroners Court, said: “Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died of anaphylaxis in Nice on July 17 2016 after eating a baguette, purchased from Pret A Manger at London Heathrow’s Terminal 5.

“The baguette was manufactured to Pret specifications and contained sesame to which she was allergic. There was no specific allergen information on the baguette packaging or on the food display cabinet and Natasha was reassured by that.”

Cummings added that he would write to Michael Gove, secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs about altering a regulation which allows businesses that produce food on site to provide reduced allergen labelling when compared to those made in factories.

He added: “I was left with the impression that Pret had not addressed the fact that monitoring food allergy in a business selling more than 200 million items year was something to be taken very seriously indeed.”

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