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Teen Dies After Eating Airport Baguette

It had sesame seeds, but they were not required to be listed in the London Pret a Manger shop
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2018 8:00 AM CDT
People walk by a branch of a Pret A Manger in London.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

(Newser) – She picked out a healthy-sounding baguette: artichoke, olive, and tapenade. But what 15-year-old British teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse didn't realize is that the baguette from the Pret a Manger sandwich shop at London's Heathrow Airport also contained sesame seeds. The seeds were apparently baked into the baguette and thus not visible, and they weren't listed on the list of ingredients because of a business loophole now under scrutiny, reports the Guardian. Natasha boarded her flight from London to France and collapsed during the flight, reports the BBC. Her father administered two EpiPen injections, but the teen—who had a severe allergy to sesame seeds—never recovered and died later at a hospital in Nice. An inquest is now underway into her 2016 death.

"As a family now of three, my wife, son and I are still trying to adjust to life without our beloved girl," says her father, Nadim Ednan-Laperouse. Pret is a chain with locations in several countries, including the US. In the European Union, regulations require that sesame seeds be listed as a potential allergen on food packaging, but smaller, independent chains such as Pret that use on-site kitchens are exempted. Instead, Pret posts signs with allergy information in stores and directs concerned customers to talk to a manager. In the US, a similar lawsuit unfolded against Pret in 2015 after a man went into anaphylactic shock after eating at a New York City location. But because sesame is not classified as an allergen that must be listed in the US, the suit was dismissed, per the Guardian. (Read more food allergies stories.)

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