This is the nightmare that parents of children with fatal food allergies guard against in every way they know how.
Florida mom Kelli Travers-Stafford’s daughter, Alexi suffered from a peanut allergy. The 15-year-old girl died after she ate a chocolate chip cookie that she didn’t know had peanuts in it while she was at a friend’s house.
In a chilling Facebook post, Travers-Stafford asked people to share the story because she said her daughter made one “fatal choice” after being taught her whole life how to make wise choices.
“As a mother who diligently taught her the ropes of what was okay to ingest and what was not, I feel lost and angry because she knew her limits and was aware of familiar packaging, she knew what ‘safe’ was.”
Our hearts are broken and we are still in shock. Our whole lives we dedicated to keeping our child safe from one…
Alexi was at a friend’s where her mom believes a folded-back cookie box wrapper in a box of Chips Ahoy! cookies hid the presence of the allergic ingredient: Reese’s peanut butter cups/chips, the mom said.
Her daughter’s mouth immediately began to tingle and she returned home.
There, two EpiPen shots were administered, but her daughter went into anaphylactic shock and stopped breathing.
About 90 minutes after eating the cookie, Alexi was pronounced dead.
Make allergy labels more visible
Alexi’s mom said the warning labels on products containing allergens such as peanuts need to be more prominent. Her daughter didn’t see the “small” indicator on the Chips Ahoy! bag with Reese’s. It’s the same color as the bag with only chocolate chips.
Travers-Stafford is now calling for more distinction on products containing peanuts, saying what’s in place isn’t good enough.
“The company has different colored packaging to indicate chunky, chewy, or regular but NO screaming warnings about such a fatal ingredient to many people. Especially children.”
Since Alexi’s mother shared her story on Facebook, other parents are calling on Chips Ahoy’s parent company, Mondelez, to sell foods with allergens in different colored packages.
Please change your packaging on your peanut butter products. A child has died because it was so similar to another product. You can’t tell the difference when the product is pulled back.
— Ashstateresa (@AshleyStaTeresa) July 14, 2018
The company says it uses colors to distinguish chewy from chunky, and describes ingredients in prominent labels.
We take allergens very seriously. Chewy Chips Ahoy! made w/ Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups packaging clearly shows that it contains peanuts through words and visuals. Package color indicates Chewy, Chunky, or Original. Consumers should always read the label for allergy information.
— Chips Ahoy! (@ChipsAhoy) July 16, 2018