Lack Of Allergen Labeling On To-Go Sandwich Proves Deadly

British chain Pret A Manger will list all ingredients including allergens on its freshly made products following an inquest into the death of a 15-year-old girl who had an allergic after eating a Pret sandwich.

Two years ago, the teenager collapsed on a British Airways flight after suffering an allergic reaction to sesame baked into the baguette. The presence of the sesame wasn’t highlighted on the packaging or on the refrigerator in the Heathrow Airport outlet. The coroner found that the victim had been “reassured” by the lack of specific allergen information on the packaging.

The teenager’s death prompted British Prime Minister Theresa May to call for a review of food labelling laws. She said the government would look at the food labelling responsibilities of individual companies.

Clive Schlee, Pret’s CEO, announced immediate action after the inquest. Pret is placing prominent allergen warning stickers on all freshly made products and displaying additional allergen warning signs in its stores. Full ingredient information, including allergens, for all products will also be available online and on premise.

Schlee emphasized that Pret, which has more than 500 outlets in nine countries, “is also committed to working with others, including the government, regulatory authorities, charity groups and industry peers to secure legislative changes to better protect people with allergies.”

The death of a customer in December 2017 after eating a "super-veg rainbow flatbread" that contained a yogurt that was supposed to be dairy-free was determined this past weekend to have been the fault of the yogurt maker. Pret is pursuing legal action against the company.

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