Boy with severe dairy allergy dies after schoolmate throws cheese

A 13 year old boy from Greenford West London, died due to a serious allergic reaction, after going into anaphylactic shock. The boy was severely allergic to wheat, gluten, all dairy, eggs and all nuts. He was also asthmatic and suffered from atopic eczema.

The boy was unconscious and stopped breathing shortly after paramedics arrived on the scene. It was alleged that another child had chased the boy with cheese and had thrown it down his t-shirt.

Pret A Manger two accounts of allergic reaction deaths

A 15 year old girl from London with a sesame allergy died after eating a Pret A Manger baguette in an airport, which did not list the ingredients. The girl collapsed and went into cardiac arrest during a flight from Heathrow to Nice, and died in a hospital in Nice despite her father administering two EpiPen injections.

Pret stated it is believed the sesame was baked into the baguette, rather than contained in seeds on its crust. Pret confirmed products are not individually labelled with allergen or ingredient information. Signs on shelves and till points advise customers to speak to managers to provide allergen advice. The company stated information is available in the company’s allergen guide, which is in stores and online.

A second customer from Wiltshire, 42, is believed to have died in hospital from an allergic reaction after consuming a dairy-free yogurt. Pret A Manger stated it was miss-sold the dairy free yoghurt, but the supplier Coyo denies its yoghurt is to blame for the death.

In response to this, Pret A Manger will list all ingredients and allergens on its freshly made products following the recent deaths.

Government are now in the process of reviewing food labelling laws, after the teenager died from an allergic reaction, and will look at food labelling responsibilities individual companies have.

Currently, food packaged on site before selling, does not need a specific allergen label attached. Environment Secretary Michael Gove stated he had instructed civil servants to investigate a law change.

Takeaway’s and Peanut allergens

Restaurant owners have in the past been jailed and sentenced to manslaughter, after customers consume products containing allergens unknowingly:

  • The owner of an Indian restaurant was jailed for 6 years and found guilty at Teesside Crown Court, following the death of a customer with a peanut allergy- despite the customer ordering the meal with ‘no nuts.’
  • A 15 year old Teenager was recently killed after unknowingly eating an Indian takeaway meal containing peanuts, in Lancashire. The trail is ongoing, with the offender currently denying manslaughter.

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