MP calls for answers over Pret death
BATH’S MP says the public is entitled to answers after a mother died in a suspected allergic reaction to a sandwich from a Pret a Manger store in the city.
Wera Hobhouse said “a lot of questions” surrounded the death of Celia Marsh, who fell ill soon after eating a ‘super-veg rainbow flatbread’ from Pret’s Stall Street branch in December.
Pret believes the Melksham mother suffered a fatal allergic reaction to one of the ingredients in the sandwich, a supposedly dairy-free yoghurt later found to contain traces of milk protein.
Mrs Hobhouse said: “My heart goes out to the family and friends of Celia Marsh, who have suffered a tragic loss.
“There are a lot of questions here, answers to which are undoubtedly in the public interest.”
Pret a Manger has said the ‘dairy-free’ CoYo yoghurt it used in the sandwich contained traces of dairy protein. But the supplier, Planet Coconut, has described Pret’s claims as “unfounded”.
Mrs Hobhouse has called for regulation of the food industry in the wake of Mrs Marsh’s death, which followed the death of 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse from a severe allergic reaction to sesame in an unlabelled Pret baguette in 2016.
“I have some serious concerns surrounding food industry regulation,” she said.
“It appears the industry is incapable of regulating itself, which is evidently a matter of life and death.
“Put simply, we need to know what is in our food, and the regulatory system needs to protect the public, especially those with serious allergies.”
Celia Marsh died at the Royal United Hospital on December 27, 2017.
A date for an inquest into her death has not been set.