'Nut-Free' Cake Causes Life-Threatening Reaction in Woman With Peanut Allergy

A young woman nearly died after suffering a severe allergic reaction to a cake that promised to be peanut-free. 22-year-old Preethi Koshy, who has been diagnosed with a serious peanut allergy, spent three days in the ICU after eating just a single bite of a cake her mother had purchased for her.

Her mother asked the vendor at the food festival where the cake was sold whether it contained peanuts. The vendor insisted it was peanut-free, though a later investigation revealed that the cake actually contained a high quantity of peanuts – some bites may have been more than 50% peanut.

Anaphylaxis struck immediately

As soon as she took a bite, says Koshy, she knew it contained nuts. “I knew it was really serious. I could feel my throat swelling up and my breathing stopping” she explained to the Daily Mail, adding “I know I am lucky to be alive. The doctors said if I had gone two minutes longer without treatment, I probably wouldn't have survived.”

The company that sold the treat has now been fined £7,500 ($11,500) because it lied to Koshy's mother about the ingredients in the cake. Reflecting on the amount of the fine, Koshy complained “The fine does not hit home hard enough and doesn't reflect how close I was to losing my life. They passively told my mum there were no peanuts in it, without thinking how serious the outcome could have been.”

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