Allergic teen suffered fatal reaction to Pret baguette

Lloyd Doyle
September 26, 2018

Her millionaire toy tycoon dad, who owns Wow Toys, then administered the first of two EpiPens she carried.

Pret said: 'We were deeply saddened to hear about Natasha's tragic death, and our heartfelt thoughts are with her family and friends.

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15, fell ill within three minutes of consuming the baguette she bought at Pret's Heathrow Terminal 5 branch, which she believed was safe to eat because sesame was not listed on the packaging.

Natasha suffered a cardiac arrest and died in a French hospital where her father called her mother and brother in the United Kingdom and put the phone to her ear so they could "say goodbye" just before she passed away.

The inquest heard the baguette contained sesame - which Natasha was allergic to - but the ingredient was not listed on the packaging.

Once her father Nadim Ednan-Laperouse noticed his daughter's throat was feeling itchy and red hives started to appear on her body, he administered the first EpiPen shot, he said in a statement read by the family lawyer Jeremy Hyam, who became emotional as he read the statement.

They said they have not been able to bring themselves to unpack her bag from the trip.

An inquest into the schoolgirl's death opens tomorrow and will determine whether the product was appropriately labelled.

"She said she couldn't breathe properly and it was was getting worse and urged me to get the second epipen right away".

She soon lost consciousness and cabin staff were aided by a junior doctor in applying CPR for the remainder of the journey.

A crew member was crying, but Mr Ednan-Laperouse said he remained "as level-headed as I could, I called her so she heard my voice".

"The pain and agony of the call was beyond anything I have known", his statement said. But she was unaware that sesame seeds had been baked into the bread of the artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette.

Grieving Ms Ednan-Laperouse’s father Nadim brother Alex and mother Tanya Nigel Howard
Grieving Ms Ednan-Laperouse’s father Nadim brother Alex and mother Tanya Nigel Howard

The distraught father said he regularly bought food from Pret on business trips, but has not since, and found some branches had labels and others did not.

"My mother looked down the list and found that the baguette dough had sesame seed inside it", the statement said.

"I was stunned that a big food company like Pret could mislabel a sandwich and this could cause my daughter to die". Pret is a chain with locations in several countries, including the US.

Image: The teenager was diligent about her allergies, the court heard.

The manager said he left the branch in December 2016, but was "confident and sure" he had put them on the tills and fridges. In line with United Kingdom regulatory requirements for food labeling, there is allergen signage on refrigerators and at checkouts that direct patrons to inquire with store managers.

Natasha suffered from food allergies her entire life, but had learnt to diligently scrutinise food labels and was alert to the dangers of cross-contamination.

Her father said that, because of her multiple severe food allergies, they had watched what she ate "like a hawk".

Antihistamines, epipens and inhalers had never before failed to halt an allergic reaction, it was heard.

They added that she had been "so excited" about what was going to be "her best summer ever".

The family is being represented by Leigh Day Solicitors.

Before the inquest began, the family released a statement describing the struggle with adjusting to life since Natasha's death, which they called "a daily battle".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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