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Mom Blames 15-Year-Old's Death on Cookie Packaging

Florida teen missed peanut mention in Chips Ahoy made with with Reese's
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 17, 2018 12:14 PM CDT
Kelli Travers-Stafford says her daughter didn't realize the cookies had peanuts.   (Snackworks.com)

(Newser) – A Florida mother blames the death of her 15-year-old daughter on what she calls confusing packaging for Reese's Chips Ahoy cookies, reports the AP. In a July 12 Facebook post, Kelli Travers-Stafford wrote that her daughter Alexi mistakenly ate one of the cookies at a friend's house despite her peanut allergy, because the top of the familiar red packaging was peeled back, hiding the Reese's label. She says Alexi felt tingling in her mouth on June 25 and they administered two Epipens but Alexi quickly went into anaphylactic shock, stopped breathing, and died within an hour and a half of eating the cookie. "I feel lost and angry because she knew her limits and was aware of familiar packaging, she knew what 'safe' was," wrote Travers-Stafford of Weston.

Still, "a small added indication on the pulled back flap on a familiar red package wasn't enough to call out to her that there was 'peanut product' in the cookies before it was too late," says Travers-Stafford, who adds she's sharing Alexi's story to "spread awareness." Since her Facebook post, other parents are calling on Chips Ahoy's parent company, Mondelez, to sell foods with allergens in different-colored packages. The company says it uses colors to distinguish chewy from chunky, and describes ingredients in prominent labels. "We take allergens very seriously," the company said in a statement, adding that the packaging for chewy cookies made with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups "clearly shows that it contains peanuts through words and visuals." (Read more peanut allergy stories.)

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