Investigating the death of a mother of five after eating pret wrap at launch

An inquest into the death of a mother of five who had a fatal allergic reaction to food she bought at Pret a Manger will begin Tuesday.

Celia Marsh, 42, a dental assistant from Melksham, Wiltshire, died on December 27, 2017 after eating a super veg rainbow flatbread at the chain’s store in Bath, Somerset.

The wrap had contained yogurt, which was supposed to be vegan but later contained traces of milk protein.

Mrs. Marsh suffered from a severe milk allergy.

Pret was charged by Bath and North East Somerset Council with food safety failure following the death of Ms Marsh, but the charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence.

Andy Marsh and Celia Marsh (Leigh Day/PA) (PA Media)

The inquest is set to take place at Ashton Court Mansion House in Bristol and is expected to last between two and three weeks. It will determine how Mrs. Marsh died.

At a pre-inquest review in August, coroner Maria Voisin said it was necessary to seek an explanation from Henry Gosling, founder of CoYo, the Australia-based coconut yogurt company.

The company provided Pret with the yogurt ingredient for the sandwich.

The Avon Coroner’s Court heard that there was a “disagreement” between information provided by CoYo and its UK distributor Planet Coconut about the potential for dairy contamination in its products.

Ms Marsh’s family have said they want answers as to the reasons for her death and her legal representatives have expressed concern at how the investigation was conducted, calling the tests carried out on the sandwich “inadequate”. .

Ms Marsh’s husband Andy Marsh has filed an assault claim in London’s High Court in a bid to find answers about what happened.

Celia Marsh (center back) with four of her five daughters (left to right) Brenne Grice, Ashleigh Grice, Kayleigh Grice, Shanaye Grice (Leigh Day/PA) (PA Media)

A spokeswoman for Pret A Manger said: “Our deepest condolences remain with the Marsh family at their terrible loss and we are doing all we can to assist in this investigation.”

She added: “Following the death of Celia Marsh in 2017, charges were brought against Pret. The charges were dropped due to lack of evidence and Pret was subsequently found not guilty.

“Over the past several years, Pret has established an industry-leading approach to supporting customers with allergies with the Pret Allergy Plan.

“We will continue to do everything we can to ensure each customer has the information they need to make the right choice for them.”

Ms Marsh’s death followed that of 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died in 2016 after eating a sesame seed pret baguette bought at Heathrow Airport.

Mrs Ednan-Laperouse had a nut allergy.

The tragedy prompted an overhaul of food labeling laws that now require food retailers to include full ingredient and allergen labeling on all locally produced and pre-packaged foods for direct sale, including sandwiches, cakes and salads.

Her mother, Tanya Ednan-Laperouse, founder of the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, is supportive of Ms Marsh’s family and is expected to take part in the investigation.

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