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A BRIT teenager died after eating just three bites of a burrito while he was travelling in Mexico, a coroner has ruled.
Joe Dobson, 19, suffered the fatal allergic reaction after eating the meal containing sesame in the seaside resort town of Playa del Carmen.
Joe warned staff he would die if he ate sesame[/caption]
Staff at the restaurant in Playa Del Carmen (file photo) did not help Joe when he went into anaphylactic shock[/caption]
Joe, who was allergic to sesame, eggs, milk and peanuts, had gone out to a local fusion restaurant with friends – an eatery he had been to before.
As he ordered, Joe asked the restaurant staff on multiple occasions in both English and Spanish to ensure there was no sesame in his meal, the coroners’ court hear.
But after just three bites, his friends said that Joe knew there was sesame in his vegetarian burrito. Yet, they claimed staff did not seem bothered about his allergy and did not want to call an ambulance.
Joe had left his EpiPen – his emergency treatment for acute allergic reactions – at his AirBnB apartment, and by the time his friends retrieved it and used it, it was too late.
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Unable to breathe, Londoner Joe fell unconscious. A police car transported him to hospital but doctors were unable to revive him and he died that evening.
In a statement read at South London Coroner’s Court in Croydon, Joe’s friend Harriet Preston recalled: “Joe ordered a vegetarian burrito and said no sesame and used the Spanish word.”
“When the food arrived, it was sent back as Joe believed it contained sesame.
“Joe tried to tell the staff at the restaurant in basic English that if he eats sesame he will die.”
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The young woman described how, when Joe’s food arrived again, he shun his torch light over it to check for the presence of sesame.
“He took two bites and said no, that’s got it in it.
“He went over to the bar staff, they were in denial. He could feel it in his throat.
“He said he needed an ambulance but the staff were reluctant.
“The staff did not treat our situation like what it was. There was no basic first aid or knowledge.”
Coroner Mark Taylor explained that staff told Joe to drink some honey and lemon liquid.
“He did so to keep them quiet it seems,” Taylor said.
Concluding, the coroner added: “It seems very clear to me that Joe did all he reasonably could have done to warn the restaurant not to serve him food containing sesame and even checked himself.
“And it is very clear to me that it was the sesame in the food served by the restaurant that caused the allergic reaction.
“Joe acted unwittingly in eating the food with sesame which caused the fatal reaction.
“This should not have happened and to someone like Joe of his age.”
The restaurant has not been named.
Shiv Mistry, 18, was unaware that the cocktail had been made with dairy cream instead of the typical coconut cream.
Last week, an inquest also heard how mum of five Celia Marsh, who had a dairy allergy, suffered anaphylaxis on the floor minutes after consuming a £3.75 vegan wrap from Pret a Manger.
Speaking after the verdict, her husband Andy, 51, who described his wife as his “best friend”, said: “Any manufacturer who makes something that is then labelled ‘free from’ has to take the responsibility for the testing to make sure it is exactly that.
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“I want to see testing at every stage of the process to make sure nothing gets through the cracks and to provide a safety net.
“People with allergies are currently relying solely on the fact that the packaging says it is ‘free from’.
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