Celia Marsh death: Second Pret a Manger allergy victim named

Inquest date yet to be fixed

Jon Sharman
Monday 08 October 2018 09:51
The family of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse: 'If Pret A Manger were following the law, then the law was playing Russian roulette with our daughters life'

The second person believed to have died following an allergic reaction triggered by food from the Pret a Manger chain has been named as Celia Marsh.

Ms Marsh, 42, collapsed and died in December 2017 after eating a “super-veg rainbow flatbread” she bought in Bath.

A spokesperson for Avon Coroner’s Court confirmed she was the apparent victim and said an inquest into her death would be held at a date yet to be fixed.

Pret said the sandwich consumed by Ms Marsh contained yoghurt that was meant to be dairy-free, but had later been found to be contaminated.

The chain said it withdrew all affected products as soon as it was made aware of the incident by Bath and North East Somerset Council.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said it investigated supplier CoYo, which then issued an allergy alert and recalled its coconut yoghurts.

But CoYo has denied the recall was linked to Ms Marsh’s death and accused Pret of hampering its own investigation by failing to provide vital information.

“The claims made by Pret are unfounded,” a spokesperson for CoYo said on Sunday.

“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,” she added.

“Pret’s inability to provide us with a batch code, despite several requests, has severely limited our ability to investigate this further.”

Bath’s council alerted Pret to the incident and the chain said it then withdrew all affected products, ended its CoYo contract and launched legal action.

“Subsequent testing by Pret and two independent authorities found that the CoYo dairy-free yoghurt contained traces of dairy protein,” a Pret spokesperson added.

The FSA investigated, along with the council for Bexley in London where CoYo is based, before it issued an allergy alert.

The latest death emerged as Pret was facing scrutiny over 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who was allergic to sesame and died after eating one of its baguettes.

Pret announced on Wednesday it would now include full ingredient labelling on all of its products, and the government is considering a law change after the death of Natasha, from Fulham in southwest London.

Additional reporting by agencies

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