Global chain Pret A Manger has introduced ingredient labelling on its products following the death of a 15-year-old girl who had an allergic reaction to a Pret sandwich.
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on board a flight in 2016 after consuming an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette that contained sesame seeds to which she was allergic. The British teenager had purchased the item at a Pret outlet in Heathrow airport.
Coroner Dr Sean Cummings identified that this ingredient was not listed on the sandwich’s packaging in an inquest held last week. Dr Cummings also noted that the chain used stickers on their products informing customers to ask staff for further allergen information.
Pret A Manger CEO Clive Schlee said in a statement: “We are deeply sorry for the loss of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse. I said we would learn from this tragedy and ensure meaningful changes result from it.
“In the last two years, we have been improving our allergen information. We now display declarable allergens for our freshly made products on shelf tickets in front of each item. We also have signs in our fridges, on product packaging, and at till points advising customers with allergies to speak with a manager to see our allergen guide.
“We recognise there is much more we can do. We will start trialling new labels which show full ingredients, including allergens, on packaging from next month. This will be rolled out to all UK shops as quickly as possible.”
Over the next few weeks, Pret has declared it will display ‘prominent’ allergy warning stickers on all freshly made products, include additional allergy signs within stores and provide full ingredient information for all products online and in store.
Schlee added: “I hope this sets us on course to drive change in the industry and ensure customers with allergies are as protected and informed as possible. Nothing is more important to Pret right now.”
Pret A Manger has over 500 stores in nine markets worldwide.