Food allergies are a serious concern. As consumers, we do out best to read the allergen information on labels.
Unfortunately, allergen information isn’t always readily available. You have to inquire or research in order to find out what certain foods actually contain.
This includes allergens like wheat, soy and dairy. FARE notes that an “allergy to sesame is an emerging concern.”
A tragic incident on a British Airways flight is bring quite a bit of attention to just how serious food allergies are.
BBC News reported that 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse was traveling from Heathrow to Nice in July 2017 with her father, Nadim Ednan-Laperouse, when the unthinkable happened.
Natasha was allergic to sesame. When she purchased an artichoke, olive, and tapenade baguette from a popular chain restaurant in the Heathrow terminal, she had no idea a dangerous ingredient was possibly baked inside.
The chain, Pret a Manger, claimed that although their foods don’t have individual allergen labels, the information is reportedly available from a manager or a guide which is accessible online or at the chain’s various locations.
“We take food allergies and how allergen information is provided to our customers extremely seriously,” a spokesperson for Pret a Manger told BBC News.
Sadly, it was too late for Natasha. She reportedly collapsed on her flight. Her father gave her two EpiPen injections, but even this was not enough to save his daughter.
Nadim Ednan-Laperouse is the founder of Wow Toys, a company that doesn’t believe in “cutting corners,” according to their website.
But it would seem some corners may possibly have been cut when it came to Pret a Manger’s allergen policy.
According to The Guardian, the investigation related to this case will probably “examine product-labeling laws and raise questions about whether gaps in regulation need to be tightened.”
As for the toy tycoon and his family, Ednan-Laperouse says they are “trying to adjust to life without our beloved girl.”
This story is heartbreaking. Our prayers are with this family as they continue to grieve. This case serves as a reminder for those with severe food allergies — you can never be too careful.
When in doubt ask, or simply don’t eat any unlabeled food items. Erring on the side of caution may just save your life.
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