UK sandwich chain changes labelling after allergy death
by Agence France-Presse
British sandwich shop chain Pret a Manger said Wednesday it would list all ingredients, including allergens, on its products after a teenage girl died in 2016 from an allergic reaction.
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15, who suffered from numerous allergies, went into cardiac arrest on a flight after eating a Pret baguette containing sesame seeds.
The coroner at her inquest last week said the teen died of anaphylaxis after eating the sandwich.
Pret said ingredients would be listed for all products that are freshly made in its shop kitchens.
British law does not require food retailers to list allergen information on packaging or food display cabinets but that is now under scrutiny.
A spokeswoman for Britain’s food ministry welcomed Pret’s announcement and said there was a “clear need to review food labelling” following Ednan-Laperouse’s death.
“That is why we are currently reviewing our approach to give consumers more information,” she said.
“A critical part is looking very closely at how we can improve and strengthen domestic regulations to make sure all UK consumers have the protections required.”
Ednan-Laperouse’s family has called for a change in the law on food labelling.
In a statement, her parents said they cautiously welcomed Pret’s decision.
“We hope this will quickly lead to improved labelling across all their stores,” they said.
At the time of Ednan-Laperouse’s death, Pret relied on stickers on food display units highlighting that allergy information was available by asking staff or visiting its website.
“I want to say again how deeply sorry we are for the loss of Natasha,” said Clive Schlee, Pret’s chief executive.
“I said we would learn from this tragedy and ensure meaningful changes happen.
“I hope these measures set us on course to drive change in the industry so people with allergies are as protected and informed as possible.”
The chain has more than 500 stores including in Paris, Hong Kong, Dubai and several US cities.(AFP)