A 21-year-old woman with an extreme dairy allergy died after taking just two bites of a dessert that was labeled as a vegan tiramisu.
The woman was eating with her boyfriend at a fast-food Italian restaurant at the end of January, and the specific restaurant reportedly specializes in vegan dishes. The woman regularly went to the restaurant as she did not have to worry about her egg allergy or her strong milk allergy. After her main course, she ordered a ‘vegan’ tiramisu as dessert. According to her boyfriend, the woman even had the staff show her the list of allergens in the dish, and ‘traces of nuts’ were reportedly the only thing listed.
However, after just two bites of the dish, she started to feel like something was wrong. She started to cough, got a rash, and was having difficulty breathing. She went to the bathroom and tried to make herself throw up the dessert but she was not able to. Even her allergy medicine reportedly made no difference. She then lost consciousness and was brought to the San Raffaele Hospital, where she remained in a coma for ten days before she was declared dead.
According to the Italian ministry of health, the dessert was a ready-made product that has now been called back from dozens of restaurants across Italy. In other tiramisu glasses from the same brand, traces of milk protein were reportedly found. In addition, traces of egg were found in the mayonnaise that was in the sandwich which the woman ate which was supposedly vegan.
Milan prosecutors have opened a probe into manslaughter against the owner of the restaurant and the product was withdrawn from the market by the ministry of health for the presence of allergens that were not indicated on the label.
Recently, another woman with a dairy allergy died after eating a wrap that was labeled vegan but included dairy products. These heartbreaking stories mean that we need to hold companies accountable for correctly labeling what is in their product. They cannot afford to make a mistake when people’s lives are on the line.
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