Woman died after eating ‘vegan’ Pret a Manger wrap, inquest told – The Guardian

Celia Marsh, 42, from Wiltshire, who had cow’s milk allergy, suffered fatal reaction after eating Pret sandwich
A woman with a severe allergy to cow’s milk who suffered a fatal reaction after eating a Pret a Manger wrap initially thought she was being “silly” when she began to struggle with her breathing during a family shopping trip because the sandwich label had stated it was “vegan”, her husband told her inquest.
Celia Marsh, 42, a dental nurse from Melksham, Wiltshire, collapsed in a Bath street and despite the efforts of her family, passersby, paramedics and hospital staff, died two hours later.
Marsh’s husband, Andy Marsh, told the mother-of-five’s inquest in Bristol that she closely monitored what she ate and never took risks, especially following a near-fatal reaction seven months earlier.
“Celia closely monitored her food allergies,” he said. “She always checked every label before eating and always asked about ingredients. If Celia was not sure about the label or the answers given to her, she would not eat the food as she did not want to take any risks.”
Andy Marsh said that when his wife felt ill during a post-Christmas shopping trip to Bath in 2017 she could not believe it was because of the wrap. He added: “Celia thought she was being silly at first because the label had stated ‘vegan’ but then realised that something was wrong.”
Pano Christou, the CEO of Pret, attended the first day of Marsh’s inquest in person.
In a statement read out at the inquest, Andy Marsh said that in May 2017 Celia Marsh suffered her first “bad reaction” when she ate something containing marshmallow while at the dental surgery where she worked. The label said it had been made on the same line as a product containing milk. She needed 12 shots of adrenalin at the surgery and three in hospital. Andy Marsh said that he thought she survived only because she was at work and they had adrenalin. After that, she always carried an EpiPen.
On 27 December 2017, the Marshes and three of their five daughters aged seven, 15 and 17 went on a shopping trip to Bath. At about 2pm, Celia Marsh bought a “super-veg rainbow flatbread” from a Pret store. Andy Marsh said: “She would always ask and then ask again about her allergy.”
They carried on shopping. “Celia told me she felt a bit funny,” he said. As they walked down a side street, Marsh took out her asthma inhaler and was struggling to breathe.
She administered her EpiPen and her husband phoned an ambulance. She collapsed and was taken to hospital by ambulance. When he got to the hospital, he was taken to a side-room and told Marsh had been pronounced dead at 4pm.
Andy Marsh said: “A few days after Celia died I found the wrapper from the sandwich in her handbag.” He added: “After the incident in May 2017, Celia was scared of making a mistake and was very careful not to come into contact with milk in any way.”
The hearing continues.


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