LEGAL | Staff Reporter, UK

Pret A Manger baguette that killed teenager had no allergen information, coroner says

Pret's CEO vowed for 'meaningful change' following the inquest.

Pret A Manger's food labelling reportedly failed to warn Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, a 15-year-old girl who passed away after eating one of its baguettes that contained allergens.

"There was no specific allergen information on the baguette packaging or on the (food display cabinet) and Natasha was reassured by that," coroner Dr. Sean Cummings told the West London Coroner's Court.

Ednan-Laperouse died of anaphylaxis in Nice, France on July 17, 2016 after eating a baguette purchased from a Pret A Manger outlet at London Heathrow's Terminal 5.

Pret issued a statement after the inquest.

“All of us at Pret want meaningful change to come from this tragedy. We will ensure that it does,” CEO Clive Schlee said.

Some food chains have said they would look at their own policies in light of the recent news.

“It's all of our responsibilities within the foodservice industry to keep everyone safe. We believe the best way to do that would be an industry-wide standard for allergen information. This needs to be simple and easy to understand,” LEON said in its email to customers.

“For example, today a sandwich shop that makes its sandwiches in the shop does not have to provide allergy information on the packaging. But a sandwich shop that makes its sandwiches in a central 'factory' does have to do so. This is confusing for you, the guest.”

The news also comes as Pret in the United States is being sued by Beyond Pesticides, GMO Free USA, and Organic Consumers Association for “deceptive marketing” and sale of certain bread and other baked goods as “natural food”.

“Consumers expect Pret’s food to be free of synthetic pesticides, including glyphosate. Glyphosate, patented as a chelator and an antibiotic, is linked to adverse health effects including cancer, infertility and non-alcoholic fatty liver and kidney diseases,” said Diana Reeves, executive director of GMO Free USA. “Glyphosate shouldn’t be present in the food system at all, but a company that willfully misrepresents its products needs to be held accountable.”

Do you know more about this story? Contact us anonymously through this link.

Click here to learn about advertising, content sponsorship, events & rountables, custom media solutions, whitepaper writing, sales leads or eDM opportunities with us.

To get a media kit and information on advertising or sponsoring click here.