28 July 2015
Warning over Food Labelling after Cupcake Nearly Kills Nut Allergy Sufferer
A woman who suffered a near fatal allergic reaction after eating a cupcake has succeeded in legal action against the café which sold it to her.
Siobhan Gosrani, 24, went into acute anaphylactic shock within moments of taking a bite of the icing on a lemon cake which was labelled as “wheat and sugar free” but had no warning it contained cashew nuts.
Tiosk, in Broadway Market, East London, has now admitted liability after Ms Gosrani’s law firm Slater and Gordon argued it should have alerted her to the potentially lethal allergen.
Siobhan, who has had a serious nut allergy since birth, has called on retailers to be far more rigorous with their food labelling in order to prevent a fatal mistake occurring.
She said: “This café’s oversight could have killed me. I don’t want what happened to me to happen to anyone else and I hope this reminds shop owners how important it is to warn customers about potentially lethal ingredients.”
Describing her ordeal, which took place in January this year, the health care worker, said: “I knew within a second of biting into it that I was having a severe reaction. It was like a massive rush. I could feel my throat closing up and an intense prickling sensations going down my throat. It felt like my throat was drying up.
“I didn’t have my EpiPen because I hadn’t intended on eating, which added to my panic. At one point I began losing consciousness.”
Siobhan left the café and dialled 999 as she took a cab to her nearby home in Dalston, East London, where paramedics arrived within minutes to administer emergency treatment. But her condition continued to decline and she was rushed to the Royal London Hospital where doctors were able to stabilise her.
Siobhan added: “I’m still feeling the effects now. This has totally shaken my confidence. If it’s taught me anything it’s that anyone with an allergy should never assume the labelling on loose food means you’re safe; double and triple check with the people selling the food or the chef.
“You put your trust in retailers that their labelling is correct but that doesn’t prevent human error. Just because the food may not contain the allergen, it might have been prepared in a contaminated area.”
Her lawyer Harminder Kang, of Slater and Gordon, said: “This is an extremely serious case. Allergic reactions to food ingredients can kill. The law puts the onus on the retailer to display a warning if something contains nuts.
“Had Siobhan not been so calm and the fantastic paramedics been so quick to get to her, this case could have had a tragic outcome. It serves to underline how important it is that retailers take their responsibilities seriously.”
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