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Pret a Manger allergy death 10:04 - Sep 26 with 4419 viewsCrawfordsboot

The death of 15 year old Natasha is tragic for all concerned and something that would be devastating for any family. As I understand it from press reports Natasha suffered from a number of allergies and a severe allergy to sesame seeds, to the extent that the family carried epipens in case of a reaction.

Whist not wanting to deny the responsibility for food retailers to label products fully in accordance with the law the press comment appears to me to be somewhat one sided. Where someone has a known severe allergy is there no responsibility on the individual/family not to buy general products on the high street or in an airport where they are likely to encounter a degree of uncertainty about ingredients. Alternatively when buying a product surely someone with such known and severe allergy problems should have been primed to automatically ask for confirmation of ingredients.

It seems to me that responsibility here rests not just with Pret A Manger.
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Pret a Manger allergy death on 10:05 - Sep 26 with 2742 viewsBackToRussia

They had had numerous incidents at that shop of not labelling allergens, so yes the family should have been more cautious, but they had time and time again been in breach of the rules.

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Pret a Manger allergy death on 10:11 - Sep 26 with 2724 viewsCrawfordsboot

Pret a Manger allergy death on 10:05 - Sep 26 by BackToRussia

They had had numerous incidents at that shop of not labelling allergens, so yes the family should have been more cautious, but they had time and time again been in breach of the rules.


BTR Not sure that you are correct here. It is not clear that Pret were in breach of the rules. Where product is cooked in small units then the general rules do not apply. Clearly there is a major fault with the rules but as I understand it Pret followed the rules since although they are a large organisation the bread is baked off in small units.

They did encounter a handful of incidents over recent years with one of those cases serious so I am not seeking to absolve Pret of all blame simply trying to put a more balanced view out there.
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Pret a Manger allergy death on 10:19 - Sep 26 with 2694 viewsBlueBadger

If the shop aren't labelling consistently and correctly, then you can't make a truly informed choice, can you?

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Pret a Manger allergy death on 10:21 - Sep 26 with 2672 viewsjeera

Pret a Manger allergy death on 10:11 - Sep 26 by Crawfordsboot

BTR Not sure that you are correct here. It is not clear that Pret were in breach of the rules. Where product is cooked in small units then the general rules do not apply. Clearly there is a major fault with the rules but as I understand it Pret followed the rules since although they are a large organisation the bread is baked off in small units.

They did encounter a handful of incidents over recent years with one of those cases serious so I am not seeking to absolve Pret of all blame simply trying to put a more balanced view out there.


Several cases of people requiring medical treatment and they have been formally warned their approach has been inadequate.

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Pret a Manger allergy death on 10:31 - Sep 26 with 2639 viewsCrawfordsboot

Pret a Manger allergy death on 10:19 - Sep 26 by BlueBadger

If the shop aren't labelling consistently and correctly, then you can't make a truly informed choice, can you?


Agreed but as I say above there appears to be a serious flaw in the rules as drafted. I emphasise that I am not arguing that Pret couldn't or shouldn't do better. I simply raise the point that there is also an element of personal responsibility in this sort of situation.
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Pret a Manger allergy death on 10:37 - Sep 26 with 2617 viewsBlueBadger

Pret a Manger allergy death on 10:31 - Sep 26 by Crawfordsboot

Agreed but as I say above there appears to be a serious flaw in the rules as drafted. I emphasise that I am not arguing that Pret couldn't or shouldn't do better. I simply raise the point that there is also an element of personal responsibility in this sort of situation.


I'm not sure what more they could do here, they've brought(and administered)proper medications, they've no doubt read a label and they may very well ave asked someone on the counter(who may not have been over-helpful). You could also point some fingers at the airline for not diverting to a closer airport for an emergency landing, give that they had a medical emergency(a full blown anaphylaxis) needing immediate attention in progress on board.

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Pret a Manger allergy death on 10:40 - Sep 26 with 2597 viewsjeera

Pret a Manger allergy death on 10:31 - Sep 26 by Crawfordsboot

Agreed but as I say above there appears to be a serious flaw in the rules as drafted. I emphasise that I am not arguing that Pret couldn't or shouldn't do better. I simply raise the point that there is also an element of personal responsibility in this sort of situation.


If there has been nine cases of sesame reactions from items purchased from pret a manger in the last year alone it's clear they're being irresponsible.

When you think how much food we consume in our lifetime it's not reasonable to expect to be able to individually check every item.

It is reasonable to expect a company making a profit from selling food to do so responsibly and to not push that responsibility onto the customer.

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Pret a Manger allergy death on 11:06 - Sep 26 with 2548 viewsBackToRussia

Pret a Manger allergy death on 10:11 - Sep 26 by Crawfordsboot

BTR Not sure that you are correct here. It is not clear that Pret were in breach of the rules. Where product is cooked in small units then the general rules do not apply. Clearly there is a major fault with the rules but as I understand it Pret followed the rules since although they are a large organisation the bread is baked off in small units.

They did encounter a handful of incidents over recent years with one of those cases serious so I am not seeking to absolve Pret of all blame simply trying to put a more balanced view out there.


As far as I understand it they were not obliged to have labelling on individual items, but were obliged to have it in the store generally and near to the products and they had been found lacking. They also had numerous times when people had attacks as a result of this.

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Pret a Manger allergy death on 11:17 - Sep 26 with 2519 viewsNo9

If in fact anyone has allergies that are serious enough to threaten their health let alone life that should lead anyone / family to take extraordinary measure to ensure safety which would often mean not buying anything other than fresh fruit from any retailer.

In that respect you are correct but it doesn't mean the retailer / manufacturer should be off the hook
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Pret a Manger allergy death on 11:18 - Sep 26 with 2511 viewsWarkTheWarkITFC

I get where you are coming from, although such matters need to be worded sensitively.

I have various members of my family with food allergies, some serious. Now in the world we live in today with the various standards, rules, regulations etc you absolutely should be able to trust a food outlet to label ingredients, to flag up allergens, to be fully trained to give advice etc.

However, my family members rarely eat out. The ones that do are the ones who will end up with diarrhoea or a stomach cramp if they eat the wrong thing. The ones who could suffer fits or potentially die just don't eat anything they haven't prepared themselves.

Yes it is hugely inconvenient but better to be safe than trust anybody else to look after your interests. Absolutely no way would I trust such a place if I could eat something and die even if they were seemed 100% confident there had been no cross contamination.

For example, there is no way that every member of the kitchen staff in restaurants wash their hands every time, prepare everything separately, don't accidentally mix stuff. They should do and most will do, but it's no different from driving within the speed limit. Most people adhere to the rules, but others forget, make mistakes or don't care.

It's a terrible sad case and heartbreaking to read, especially phoning your mum to say goodbye, and Pret will rightly take a huge hammering for this, but I also feel the individual concerned should never risk something so serious on the word of anyone else. Even though it should be possible and companies should take this stuff seriously, you are ultimately in the hands of an individual somewhere in a shop, factory or kitchen that will not apply the same diligence as the chief executive whose job or career is on the line.

[Post edited 26 Sep 2018 11:28]

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Pret a Manger allergy death on 11:24 - Sep 26 with 2491 viewsLord_Lucan

From what i understand there is some kind of EU rule stating that if the food is cooked and prepared on the premises the labelling doesn't have to be as stringent - and while this may be crazy I don't thing Pret are technically in the wrong.

That said, a company like Pret should be more diligent and it is a tragic case, very sad.

I think if I had an allergy like that I would only eat my own prepared food - although that is in no way condoning Pret or the current law.

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Pret a Manger allergy death on 11:26 - Sep 26 with 2467 viewsWarkTheWarkITFC

Pret a Manger allergy death on 11:24 - Sep 26 by Lord_Lucan

From what i understand there is some kind of EU rule stating that if the food is cooked and prepared on the premises the labelling doesn't have to be as stringent - and while this may be crazy I don't thing Pret are technically in the wrong.

That said, a company like Pret should be more diligent and it is a tragic case, very sad.

I think if I had an allergy like that I would only eat my own prepared food - although that is in no way condoning Pret or the current law.


The strange thing here is why they used sesame seeds, a known allergen, in their bread in the first place.

Entirely foreseeable that, even with appropriate signage, a serious issue could occur, which would hammer their reputation far more than some slightly differently tasting bread.

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Pret a Manger allergy death on 11:53 - Sep 26 with 2409 viewsNo9

Pret a Manger allergy death on 11:24 - Sep 26 by Lord_Lucan

From what i understand there is some kind of EU rule stating that if the food is cooked and prepared on the premises the labelling doesn't have to be as stringent - and while this may be crazy I don't thing Pret are technically in the wrong.

That said, a company like Pret should be more diligent and it is a tragic case, very sad.

I think if I had an allergy like that I would only eat my own prepared food - although that is in no way condoning Pret or the current law.


I don't think that is right (I may be wrong) but on my travels I have noticed that many restuarants not only not allergons but include information such as calories etc. on the menus.

A Food Stadards Agency was introduced here some years ago but is now cronically underfunded so many problems only arise after a tragedy such as in this instance
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Pret a Manger allergy death on 12:00 - Sep 26 with 2390 viewsLord_Lucan

Pret a Manger allergy death on 11:53 - Sep 26 by No9

I don't think that is right (I may be wrong) but on my travels I have noticed that many restuarants not only not allergons but include information such as calories etc. on the menus.

A Food Stadards Agency was introduced here some years ago but is now cronically underfunded so many problems only arise after a tragedy such as in this instance


Whether you see that information on labels doesn't necessarily mean that it is compulsory.

I'm pretty sure that the EU law on this states that less information is required on the packaging if the food is cooked onsite. This was to help small businesses and is nothing to do with any UK food standards agency.

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Pret a Manger allergy death on 12:08 - Sep 26 with 2361 viewsAce_High1

It is a mind field. If you ever get to a situation where you have to watch what you consume then its very difficult to eat out and actually as others have said you are most likely to prepare your own food.

However the retailers and restaurants should have a responsibility to inform customers of what the items contain. Another issue is a lack of training in a lot of the fast food/coffee shop type places. If a customer asks a member of staff a question about a foods content, I am not convinced some of the staff appreciate the seriousness of giving the incorrect answer.

Either way this is a tragic case.
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Pret a Manger allergy death on 13:36 - Sep 26 with 2257 viewsRyorry

When I go food shopping, I have to spend something like probably 80% of that time checking labels due to my allergies, or asking staff to check ingredients against their lists, which they are legally obliged to hold.

I, and other allergy sufferers, are completely dependent on this info - we are not mind readers. The family of this teenager say they did look at the label carefully, and sesame was not listed. They were not irresponsible, nor at fault and cannot, should not be blamed. The manufacturers/retailers are. End of.

Edit: Having read the rest of the replies above, I must add that I never eat out, because of the risk. This is, however, extremely isolating socially - and that's ignoring the fact that about 90% of community events these days include food as part of the price, so if you do go, you're paying massively over the odds for something you're not consuming. No event ever has agreed to my request for a discount because I can't eat the grub.
[Post edited 26 Sep 2018 13:43]

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Pret a Manger allergy death on 14:15 - Sep 26 with 2196 viewsCrawfordsboot

Pret a Manger allergy death on 13:36 - Sep 26 by Ryorry

When I go food shopping, I have to spend something like probably 80% of that time checking labels due to my allergies, or asking staff to check ingredients against their lists, which they are legally obliged to hold.

I, and other allergy sufferers, are completely dependent on this info - we are not mind readers. The family of this teenager say they did look at the label carefully, and sesame was not listed. They were not irresponsible, nor at fault and cannot, should not be blamed. The manufacturers/retailers are. End of.

Edit: Having read the rest of the replies above, I must add that I never eat out, because of the risk. This is, however, extremely isolating socially - and that's ignoring the fact that about 90% of community events these days include food as part of the price, so if you do go, you're paying massively over the odds for something you're not consuming. No event ever has agreed to my request for a discount because I can't eat the grub.
[Post edited 26 Sep 2018 13:43]


No Ryorry not end of! That is too glib a response.

The Coroners report is now up and on the Guardian website. The Coroner highlights the need for the law to be changed. Pre was not in contravention of the law as it stands. This is the point I have made above.
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Pret a Manger allergy death on 14:36 - Sep 26 with 2162 viewsRyorry

Pret a Manger allergy death on 14:15 - Sep 26 by Crawfordsboot

No Ryorry not end of! That is too glib a response.

The Coroners report is now up and on the Guardian website. The Coroner highlights the need for the law to be changed. Pre was not in contravention of the law as it stands. This is the point I have made above.


I have had 25 years of gut-bleeding from eating stuff I'm allergic to - nothing I say about food consumption and allergies is "glib".

If you had your way, there is zero I would be able to eat or drink except some lean fresh meat, lean fish, potatoes, some vegetables and water.

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Pret a Manger allergy death on 14:39 - Sep 26 with 2159 viewsjaykay

i have noticed the last couple of times that i was on a plane,there has been announcement that no nuts will be served with drinks,or sold as someone has a nut allergy.
is it just in planes this happens ,or is it it on trains etc.
it must be awful having severe food allergies not been able to eat out without checking out whats in everything on the menu . going abroad on holiday must be a nightmare for eating out
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Pret a Manger allergy death on 14:44 - Sep 26 with 2131 viewsWarkTheWarkITFC

Pret a Manger allergy death on 14:36 - Sep 26 by Ryorry

I have had 25 years of gut-bleeding from eating stuff I'm allergic to - nothing I say about food consumption and allergies is "glib".

If you had your way, there is zero I would be able to eat or drink except some lean fresh meat, lean fish, potatoes, some vegetables and water.


This seems like a totally disproportionate response and an total over reaction, unless you have history with this particular person.

My wife has all kind of allergies. It's rubbish. We never eat out or have takeaways. We rarely have any meal that we haven't fully prepared ourselves. It is rubbish but that's life. Quite simply we are not prepared to truth others to take her condition as seriously as she does. Not everyone will do and by law of averages at some stage if you trust others to do their bit, you will get caught out. Ill in her case, much more serious in some others, including this poor young girl.

A friend of ours is in a wheelchair and can't walk. Another friend had her colon removed and can now only eat the blandest of foods.

I sympathise with your allergies and the inconvenience it causes but I can't see how the poster wished you any malice with their reply or wished you a certain diet. Very uncalled for Ryorry. It seems like a very personal issue that you've taken exception to. I see both sides of the matter.

We should be able to trust others to give our safety the respect it deserves but other people do not care as much about us as we do. That's a reality and one where individuals must then determine what duty of care they will allow others over them.
[Post edited 26 Sep 2018 14:47]

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Pret a Manger allergy death on 14:44 - Sep 26 with 2132 viewsRyorry

Pret a Manger allergy death on 14:39 - Sep 26 by jaykay

i have noticed the last couple of times that i was on a plane,there has been announcement that no nuts will be served with drinks,or sold as someone has a nut allergy.
is it just in planes this happens ,or is it it on trains etc.
it must be awful having severe food allergies not been able to eat out without checking out whats in everything on the menu . going abroad on holiday must be a nightmare for eating out


I haven't been able to go on holiday for 25 years because of it. Could do self-catering elsewhere in the UK I suppose, but self-catering doesn't = "holiday" to me.

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Pret a Manger allergy death on 14:48 - Sep 26 with 2113 viewsRyorry

Pret a Manger allergy death on 14:44 - Sep 26 by WarkTheWarkITFC

This seems like a totally disproportionate response and an total over reaction, unless you have history with this particular person.

My wife has all kind of allergies. It's rubbish. We never eat out or have takeaways. We rarely have any meal that we haven't fully prepared ourselves. It is rubbish but that's life. Quite simply we are not prepared to truth others to take her condition as seriously as she does. Not everyone will do and by law of averages at some stage if you trust others to do their bit, you will get caught out. Ill in her case, much more serious in some others, including this poor young girl.

A friend of ours is in a wheelchair and can't walk. Another friend had her colon removed and can now only eat the blandest of foods.

I sympathise with your allergies and the inconvenience it causes but I can't see how the poster wished you any malice with their reply or wished you a certain diet. Very uncalled for Ryorry. It seems like a very personal issue that you've taken exception to. I see both sides of the matter.

We should be able to trust others to give our safety the respect it deserves but other people do not care as much about us as we do. That's a reality and one where individuals must then determine what duty of care they will allow others over them.
[Post edited 26 Sep 2018 14:47]


Where did I say they were malicious? Of course I didn't, it's you that's been disproportionat and over-reacted.

And yes they did wish me a certain kind of diet, by stating that if manufacturers/retailers were careless, it was my fault for buying their incorrectly labelled stuff - I shouldn't buy it because they were untrustworthy.

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Pret a Manger allergy death on 14:49 - Sep 26 with 2113 viewsNo9

Pret a Manger allergy death on 12:00 - Sep 26 by Lord_Lucan

Whether you see that information on labels doesn't necessarily mean that it is compulsory.

I'm pretty sure that the EU law on this states that less information is required on the packaging if the food is cooked onsite. This was to help small businesses and is nothing to do with any UK food standards agency.


Full laballing on packaged foods in the EU is compulsory (one of the reasons Gove, Fox etc. want out) but I am not sure if it is the case in all restaurants but there are, in many notices asking that you tell the staff of any problems.

Full details on packaged stuffs arriving in the EU is also compulsory.

If they get round it I don't know how but can guess

I know here many of these are ingored particularly in Indian & Chinese retaurants which is why one such owner was jailed for quite a long time
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Pret a Manger allergy death on 14:50 - Sep 26 with 2109 viewsWarkTheWarkITFC

Pret a Manger allergy death on 14:44 - Sep 26 by Ryorry

I haven't been able to go on holiday for 25 years because of it. Could do self-catering elsewhere in the UK I suppose, but self-catering doesn't = "holiday" to me.


If it is purely a case of food allergies why can you not go on holiday?

I can understand why you could not get value going fully inclusive, but there is presumably nothing stopping you going abroad and feeding yourself? How is it any different to doing so at home, once you've sourced the relevant ingredients?

Sorry but there are all manner of people that have suffered the same or greater inconvenience in life. It is terrible I agree, I'd love to be able to take the wife out for a nice meal somewhere but we don't trust anybody else to cook for us. The first time she ever became unwell because of cross contamination was arguably the most we've ever paid for a meal out at one of the poshest places we've been to.

If you can't trust places of that calibre then what chance McDonalds, Harvester or the Royal George!

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Pret a Manger allergy death on 14:53 - Sep 26 with 2101 viewsWarkTheWarkITFC

Pret a Manger allergy death on 14:48 - Sep 26 by Ryorry

Where did I say they were malicious? Of course I didn't, it's you that's been disproportionat and over-reacted.

And yes they did wish me a certain kind of diet, by stating that if manufacturers/retailers were careless, it was my fault for buying their incorrectly labelled stuff - I shouldn't buy it because they were untrustworthy.


At no point has anyone suggested you would be at fault for buying something incorrectly labelled. The point being made was that Pret may have been complying with legal requirements, which means that the law should change, not that they have sold sesame seed bread with a label that lists ingredients but missed that one off.

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