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Coroner Doles Out Blame in Death of Girl Who Ate Baguette

He found Pret a Manger's labeling inadequate
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2018 6:21 AM CDT
People walk by a branch of a Pret A Manger, in London, Tuesday, May 29, 2018.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

(Newser) – The 15-year-old who died after eating an artichoke, olive, and tapenade baguette from the Pret a Manger sandwich shop at London's Heathrow Airport died because a key ingredient was not listed. The coroner in the case calls the allergy labeling inadequate, saying Natasha Ednan-Laperouse was "reassured" by the fact that sesame seeds, which she was allergic to, were not listed as an ingredient. They weren't visibly present either, as they were apparently baked into the baguette. The BBC reports the coroner's results will be shared with the Environment Secretary as a means of raising the question of whether companies like Pret a Manger should continue to be exempt from food labeling regulations when it comes to items prepared in-house.

The BBC notes there were six allergic reaction cases involving Pret a Manger's "artisan" baguettes due to their sesame seed content in the year preceding Natasha's death in 2016. She boarded her flight from London to France and collapsed during the flight. Though her father administered two EpiPen injections, she later died. The Guardian reports the EpiPens had a 16mm needle, which may not have been long enough to get the adrenaline into her muscle, per the inquest. ITV reports the shots were also administered to the same leg, which may have reduced the effectiveness of the second one. Coroner Sean Cummings also faulted British Airways, expressing his disbelief at why a heart defibrillator was not kept in the same place as other medical equipment; a doctor on the flight tried to help Natasha but was not told a defibrillator was available, reports the Times of London. (Read more allergies stories.)

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