Girl with food allergies dies after eating Pret baguette
An inquest into the death of a schoolgirl with severe food allergies who died after eating a Pret baguette will get under way as her family said their pain was “indescribable”.
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died after falling ill on a British Airways flight to Nice two years ago.
The 15-year-old was travelling with her father Nadim, founder and CEO of WOW Toys, for a summer break.
The inquest into her death is due to take place at West London Coroner’s Court in Fulham on Monday.
Her father and mother Tanya described her as a popular girl with a “great sense of humour” who was known for her “contagious laughter”.
They said they have not been able to bring themselves to unpack her bag from the trip.
“As a family now of three, my wife, son and I are still trying to adjust to life without our beloved girl,” they said in a statement.
“It’s a daily battle and the pain is indescribable.
“Everything we say and do is a reminder that she isn’t with us – her empty bedroom, school uniform hanging in her wardrobe, her holiday bag packed for her holiday in Nice has never been unpacked. We can’t bear to.”
Natasha, from Fulham, west London, died on July 17 2016 after collapsing on the flight from London Heathrow.
Shortly before boarding the plane she had eaten an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette from a Pret a Manger in Terminal 5, her family said.
Despite being administered with two EpiPens by her father, she was declared dead at University Hospital of Nice later the same day.
Representatives from Pret a Manger and BA are expected to give evidence at the inquest, the family’s lawyer has said.
Natasha was working towards her GCSEs, wanted to pursue a career in law and was an animal lover who enjoyed horse riding and also ice skating.
“We were travelling to Nice for a four day break with her best friend as a special treat,” her parents said.
“After this, she had a week planned at a youth Christian Festival in Norfolk and then we had a two week family holiday planned in Greece. It was going to be her best summer ever.
“Her closest friends still miss her every day and have found life very difficult to adjust to without her.”
A Pret spokesman said: “We were deeply saddened to hear about Natasha’s tragic death, and our heartfelt thoughts are with her family and friends.
“We take food allergies and how allergen information is provided to our customers extremely seriously.”
Pret’s food is prepared daily in shop kitchens and is not individually labelled with allergen or ingredient information.
There are signs in the chain directing customers with allergies to speak to a manager.