A second customer has died after eating an improperly labeled product from Pret A Manger, the sandwich chain confirmed in a statement posted to Twitter early Sunday.
The deadly item allegedly contained a “dairy-free yoghurt,” supplied by vegan food manufacturer COYO, which actually had traces of dairy protein inside it. The unidentified customer with a severe dairy allergy, who purchased the “veg rainbow flatbread” from a store in Bath, England, died in December 2017, the New York Times reported.
“We stopped selling the products as soon as we were made aware of this incident,” the statement from Pret A Manger read. “Testing by Pret and two independent authorities found that COYO’s dairy-free yoghurt did in fact contain traces of dairy protein. We informed the Food Standards Agency which led to a national product recall of COYO from all supermarkets and other shops. Pret ended its relationship with COYO U.K. and is in the process of taking legal action.”
COYO, however, denied the claims that it supplied the ingredient in question in a separate statement on its own site, calling Pret’s stance “unfounded.”
“The dairy-free product we provided to Pret in December 2017, at the time of this tragedy, is not linked to the product we recalled in February 2018,” COYO reps said. “Pret’s inability to provide us with a batch code, despite several requests, has severely limited our ability to investigate this further.”
The statement continued: “In February 2018, working closely with Bexley local Authority and the FSA, we issued a precautionary product recall after trace amounts of dairy ingredients were identified in materials used to make our product. This contamination was traced to a third-party supplier who we no longer work with.”
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In 2016, another Pret customer, a 15-year-old girl from West London, died from an allergic reaction to the bread in an olive tapenade and artichoke sandwich.
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse went into cardiac arrest after eating the baguette, which she bought in the Heathrow airport in London before boarding a flight, according to CNN. It contained sesame, which she was allergic to.
In a hearing held at the end of September, coroner Dr. Sean Cummings declared “there was no specific allergen information on the baguette packaging or on the [food display cabinet] and Natasha was reassured by that.” Cummings also said that he believes the labelling stickers “were difficult to see.”
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“Our beloved daughter died in a tragedy that should never have happened and we believe that this inquest has shown that she died because of inadequate food labelling laws,” said the girl’s father, Nadim Ednan-Laperouse, after the hearing, according to the UK Times. “It feels to us that if Pret A Manger were following the law, then the law was playing Russian roulette with our daughter’s life. It’s clear that the food labelling laws as they stand today are not fit for purpose and it is now time to change the law.”
When Ednan-Laperouse started to react to the bread mid-flight, her father injected her twice with an Epipen, but she had a heart attack while the plane was landing and was declared dead at the hospital.
“We are deeply sorry for Natasha’s death. We cannot begin to understand the pain the family have felt, do feel and continue to feel,” said Pret A Manger CEO Clive Schlee. “All of us at Pret want meaningful change to come from this tragedy and we will make sure that it will.”
Following the news of Ednan-Laperouse’s death, Pret announced they would start labeling fresh products with allergy information.
Neither Pret A Manger and nor COYO reps immediately responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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