Allergies are becoming more and more severe, don’t you agree?
“We are really brokenhearted and still in shock. We actually dedicated the most of our lives to ensure that we keep our child away and safe from one ingredient; peanuts”
Kellie Travers-Stafford’s Facebook post began with heartbreaking honesty, as she explained how a mistake led to the death of her 15-year-old daughter, Alexi.
On June 25, 2018, Alexi, a young girl who was severely allergic to peanuts, went over to her friend’s house while she was there. She reached for what she thought was a safe chocolate chip cookie; a section of chewy Chips Ahoy.
She recognized the red packaging immediately and, following prior studies, knew that the genuine Chewy Chips Ahoy had no peanut content. She ate one of the cookies in the red packet with a pulled-up tab, assuming that since it was already opened, it was safe to eat.
Unfortunately, this move ended up being lethal.
The cookies were Chewy Chips Ahoy, which were made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Due to the identical packaging, the young girl was unable to detect any distinctions between them, despite the fact that they contained a common allergen that was revealed within.
During the examination, her mouth began to tingle; therefore, she left. Her symptoms soon worsened. She entered anaphylactic shock and was given two EpiPen Auto-Injectors by her parents while they waited for paramedics to arrive. She later lost consciousness and stopped breathing as a result of anaphylactic shock.
She died after consuming peanuts within an hour and a half.
Kellie said, “As a mother who made it her duty to teach her the basics of what to eat and what not to eat, I feel angry because she was aware of her limits and the type of packaging she actually knew what safe was. The fact that there was a small indication on the pulled back flap on a package that was very familiar to the original one wasn’t sufficient to alert her that the cookie contained a peanut product before it was all too late”.
The post was shared with the goal of informing other parents who have children with food allergies and encouraging food manufacturing businesses to modify their packaging.
While many people showed her love and support on social media, an alarming number claimed that her daughter got nothing more than what she deserved. Some said that Alexi should have been more vigilant while checking the packaging while others argued it was a classic example of natural selection.
According to Robyn Charron, roughly every 20th message on Kellie’s post was one that blamed Alexi.
Worse, Nabisco showed no remorse.
They wrote on Twitter, “We are very deliberate when it comes to allergens. The packaging of Chewy Chips Ahoy! made w/ Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups indicates clearly that is has a content of peanuts, both through visuals and words. We have different packaging colors for Chewy, Chewy and Original. It is important for consumers to read the label as regards allergies”
Keren Deberg, a Twitter user, shared a photo of the various Nabisco packages she’d discovered that claimed to reveal peanuts in some goods.
“This is not clear in any way!!! While I believe that we all should read labels, there are kids as part of your customers and you should be smarter and more active about their safety”.