Girl With Allergy Dies After Airport Meal

Pret a Manger

Pret a Manger

A father whose 15-year-old daughter with severe food allergies died after eating a baguette from Pret A Manger has told an inquest that the food chain is to blame for its failure to list allergens.

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse became ill on a flight to Nice on 17 July 2016.

She had eaten an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette purchased from the main Pret a Manger shop in Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport before boarding.

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.

It is believed that she suffered a reaction to sesame seeds in the bread. As she lay in hospital, he said he "instinctively knew that Natasha was dying due to something contained in the Pret baguette".

Today Natasha's father Nadim Ednan-Laperouse, supported by mother Tanya and brother Alex, described the horrifying incident at her inquest today, which was also attended by Pret's CEO Clive Schlee.

Sesame is one of 14 allergens that EY laws say must be listed in pre-packaged food made off premises.

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Her father said she went to the toilet. Ednan Laperouse said: "She said: 'Daddy, help me, I can't breathe.'" He told her he loved her but she lost consciousness and foam began coming from her mouth, the court heard.

He quickly jabbed the second epipen into her upper thigh, but it failed to relieve the symptoms.

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Her father, the millionaire founder of the Wow Toys company, then gave her two doses of allergy drugs with EpiPens but it didn't work and she then told him: "Daddy help me - I can't breathe".

"As a family now of three, my wife, son and I are still trying to adjust to life without our beloved girl".

Ednan-Laperouse said that the ingredients but not sesame seeds were listed on the packet. "I was stunned that a big food company like Pret could mislabel a sandwich and this could cause my daughter to die".

"We were deeply saddened to hear about Natasha's tragic death, and our heartfelt thoughts are with her family", the chain told the paper.

It included a week at a youth Christian Festival in Norfolk and a two-week family holiday in Greece, as well as the break to Nice with her best friend. She was careful to check the food she bought for allergens, but on this occasion she missed to notice the sesame seeds and only realised something was wrong when red welts started to appear on her skin.

"She was also gentle, courageous and loyal and showed great kindness and courage on many occasions".

The inquest will hear evidence from the Pret store manager on the day, its head of food safety and compliance, as well as BA cabin crew and the pilot from the flight.

Natasha put "her trust in food labelling", her father's statement said.

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