Pret not told for nine months about teenager’s death from its sandwiches

Speaking at MCA​’s Food To Go Conference earlier this week, former Food Standards Agency chief executive Tim Smith, who is chairing Pret’s food advisory panel​, revealed the length of time before the company was notified about the incident, describing it as “completely unacceptable”.

Smith called for a mandatory register of allergen related deaths and serious incidents, saying Public Health England’s notifiable diseases plan, could easily be extended to include allergens.Ednan-Laperouse died after buying a sandwich at one of Pret’s outlets in Heathrow Airport in 2016, with the inquest into the 15 year-old girl’s death finding the company’s allergy labelling to be ‘inadequate’.

Updating on Pret’s trials of full ingredient labelling on freshly made products​, Smith said it had been well received by customers and would be rolled out across the estate.

He insisted that full ingredient labelling, as opposed to precautionary warnings about possible allergens, was the only viable approach to ensuring customer safety.

“I know the change provoked a number of concerns from within the industry but as someone involved in the development of the existing regulations, which affect all mainline retailers they were never designed to distinguish between a Pret and a Marks Spencer,” he said.

“We cannot have a situation where two million people feel locked out of simple, normal, everyday experiences – something as straightforward as going to a shop and buying lunch. It’s wrong for them and it’s bad for our businesses.”

Leave a Reply