15-Year-Old Girl With Allergy Dies After Eating Airport Baguette

Sep 27, 2018

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A 15-year-old girl collapsed on a flight from London Heathrow (LHR) to Nice, France (NCE), and later died after she ate a baguette from a Pret-a-Manger cafe at LHR and had an allergic reaction.

A lawsuit on the matter will begin in West London Coroner’s Court on Monday.

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse collapsed on her British Airways flight on July 17, 2016, after eating an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette from the grab-and-go restaurant in Heathrow’s Terminal 5. The sandwich contained sesame seeds but did not indicate that on the packaging.

Her father administered two EpiPen injections, but Ednan-Laperouse still died just hours after the onset of her allergic reaction. She was later pronounced dead at a hospital in Nice.

“It’s a daily battle and the pain is indescribable,” Nadim Ednan-Laperouse, the girl’s father, said in a statement.

Allergic reactions happen somewhat often on aircraft — although generally they are caused by peanuts served on board flights — and are frequently resolved by administering an EpiPen. Earlier this year, a child had a severe reaction to the nuts on a Southwest flight, and his parents had to inject him with an EpiPen. He survived, and the airline has since nixed peanuts from its in-flight snack offerings.

Pret told the BBC that its products are not individually labelled with ingredients or allergen information, but rather signs in their stores tell customers to ask a manager who can advise them of allergens or to consult its allergen guides in its stores or online.

“We were deeply saddened to hear about Natasha’s tragic death, and our heartfelt thoughts are with her family and friends,” Pret told the BBC in a statement. “We take food allergies and how allergen information is provided to our customers extremely seriously. We will continue to do all that we can to assist the coroner’s inquest.”

Featured image via EDNAN-LAPEROUSE FAMILY HANDOUT.

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