husband of Briton who died after eating ‘vegan’ wrap testifies

The victim had purchased a vegan wrap at Pret A Manger.  (illustration photo) - SPENCER PLATT / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

The victim had purchased a vegan wrap at Pret A Manger. (illustration photo) – SPENCER PLATT / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Celia Marsh felt in a weird state after eating the wrap she had just bought from a Pret A Manger store in Bath, south-west England, on December 27, 2017. Minutes later, this 42-year-old woman is collapsing. She was declared dead two hours later.

Five years later, the statement in which her husband told investigators about the day he lost his wife was read out at a hearing which began in Bristol on Tuesday, reports the Guardian.

“She was always checking every label”

It was during a shopping trip with her husband and three of her five children that Celia bought a wrap from Prêt A Manger. Allergic to cow’s milk, this dental nurse was very careful not to consume it. And for good reason, seven months earlier, she had had an allergic reaction that could have been fatal. He then needed 15 injections of adrenaline.

“Celia was watching her food allergies closely,” Andy Marsh said. “She always checked every label before eating and always asked about the ingredients.”

“If she wasn’t sure about the label or the answers given to her, she didn’t eat the food because she didn’t want to take any risks,” her husband assured.

When she started to feel bad after her meal, she didn’t think the wrap could be the cause. The label of this one indeed indicated that the preparation was vegan, that is to say without product derived from animals. “She then realized something was wrong,” Andy Marsh said. Indeed, the product contained traces of cow’s milk, specifies The Independent.

A dose of adrenaline

Struggling to breathe, Celia pulled out her asthma inhaler, which she used several times, and injected herself with a shot of adrenaline. Andy then called an ambulance, which transferred Celia to a hospital. “They took Celia, but I had my kids with me, so I couldn’t get in the ambulance with her,” he told investigators.

“I was in shock, so it took me a while to be able to drive to the hospital.”

Upon arriving there, the nursing staff told Andy that his wife was dead.

Prosecution against Pret A Manger dropped

Pano Christou, CEO of Pret A Manger, attended the first day of the hearing in person. While the company was initially accused of food safety failures, the charges were dropped for lack of evidence.

It is the companies CoYo, which produced the yoghurt made from coconut milk which was used in the wrap, and its British distributor, Planet Coconut which are now in question.

The hearing is expected to last between two and three weeks, says The Independent. It must make it possible to determine the causes of Celia Marsh’s death.

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