December 10, 2018

New Pret a Manger owner backs company's CEO after teenager's death

02 October 2018, 03:16 | Silvia Roy

Image Amy's family say their lives have been 'devastated'

Amy Shead

Ready-made sandwich chain Pret A Manger is defending its care for customers after a teenage girl died from an allergic reaction to the sesame seeds in its artisan baguette.

The Environment Secretary said on Monday he has instructed civil servants to investigate a law change after 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse's death highlighted the "importance of acting urgently".

Pret chief executive Clive Schlee, said: "We can not begin to comprehend the pain the family have felt, and the grief they will continue to feel. I knew she was going to die", he said.

The sandwich chain donates unsold food at the end of the day and distributes it to homelessness shelters across the country via the Pret Foundation Trust. "We can not begin to comprehend the pain her family have gone through and the grief they continue to feel".

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"We can not begin to comprehend the pain the family have felt and the grief they will continue to feel", he said.

Responding to his comments, Natasha's mother, Tanya Ednan-Laperouse, 51, said "My reaction is that things need to start changing right now. Dr Cummings also slammed her 'terrible" ordeal on the BA flight where heart stopped but cabin crew said it was too risky to get a defibrillator because they were descending to land and needed to stand by the doors.

A coroner concluded the teen had been "reassured by that" and said he would advise the government on whether food labelling regulations should be tightened.

The global food chain received nine complaints of sesame-related allergy incidents, including six involving its "artisan baguettes", in the year before Ednan-Laperouse died, the BBC reported, citing a company complaint log.

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He told ITV's This Morning yesterday that it was a "complete dereliction of duty" for firms such as Pret A Manger not to include allergy information on packaging and urged them to act, saying: 'Every minute and every hour that passes, the United Kingdom is sitting on a time bomb of someone dying again'. She was 15, she loved life, she loved boys, she liked her friends, she was a really good sister, a really, really good sister.

Writing in the Sunday Times Mr and Mrs Ednan-Laperouse explained how they had always taken extra care when it came to "Tashi's" severe milk, egg, avocado and sesame allergies.

'Companies such as Pret must now be required by law to put ingredients and allergen warnings in bold packets'.

She told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "If you met Natasha you'd remember her".

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"If Pret a Manger was following the law, then the law was playing Russian Roulette with our daughter's life", Mr Ednan-Laperouse said.

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