Group demands legislative steps to prevent allergy deaths

July 24, 2011 15:36
1 minute read.

Following the tragic death from anaphylactic shock of 26-year-old Chen Efrat after being served chocolate spread containing nuts -- to which she was very allergic -- an association of parents whose children have food allergies called for urgent legislation to ensure accurate food labels and restaurant ingredient lists.

The organization, called YAHEL, convened last week an urgent meeting of parents to discuss the tragedy, in which a Tel Aviv cafe waitress brought Efrat a dish of Belgian waffles with Nutella chocolate spread, which is based on nuts, even though she insisted she wanted only pure chocolate because nuts posed a danger to her life.

"The lack of awareness and disregard kill our children," the organization said. "The next tragedy is on the way. Chen didn’t have to die. If the authorities, such as the Health Ministry, who are entrusted with this matter had done their job, it would not have happened. A restaurant or cafe is the last in the chain of failures that led to this tragic incident. If Chen had had with her a syringe containing adrenalin for immediate treatment of allergic reactions, it is likely that should would have been saved. But even she didm't know of the existence of such a thing, so the responsibility is also of the allergy doctors, who do not always inform patients with serious food allergies. They don’t always prescribe the syringe, even though it can save lives," the parents claimed.

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