Sandwich chain Pret A Manger is reported to have launched an investigation into the recent death of a customer who is said to have had an allergic reaction to a product.

This is the second customer who has suffered a fatal reaction to one of the chain’s sandwich products since 2016, with Food Management Today also reporting on an inquest into the first incident.

The second death which has caused the company to investigate further, happened in 2017 after the person ate a “super-veg rainbow flatbread” which was supposed to be dairy-free.

It has been reported that Pret claims to have been mis-sold a dairy free product, which actually contained dairy protein.

Pret has released a statement which claims that: “COYO, the dairy-free yoghurt brand which supplies supermarkets and shops across the U.K., mis-sold to Pret a guaranteed dairy-free yoghurt that was found to contain dairy protein. This is believed to have resulted in the tragic death of a customer from an allergic reaction in December 2017.

“As soon as Pret was made aware of this incident by Bath Council, it withdrew all affected products. Subsequent testing by Pret and two independent authorities found that the COYO dairy-free yoghurt contained traces of dairy protein. Pret informed the FSA which led to a national product recall from all supermarkets and businesses supplied by COYO. Pret terminated its relationship with COYO U.K. and is in the process of taking legal action.”

According to a statement released by COYO on 7th October, the claims made are “unfounded”.

The company says: “The dairy-free product we provided to Pret in December 2017, at the time of this tragedy, is not linked to the product we recalled in February 2018. The product recalled in 2018 was made with a contaminated raw material that was only supplied to us in January 2018.

“Pret’s inability to provide us with a batch code, despite several requests, has severely limited our ability to investigate this further.”

COYO’s statement goes on to say: “We have always taken food safety and allergen control extremely seriously. As a consequence of the UK withdrawal COYO has tightened its controls to now test all ingredients prior to use through a third party, even where suppliers guarantee them to be free of dairy protein.

“All COYO manufacturing facilities are solely dairy-free and do not produce any dairy products, which makes our allergen control even more robust.”

The product which caused the death is believed to have come from a store in Stall Street, Bath.