Natick family sues Panera for serving allergic child peanut butter

NATICK, MASS. (WHDH) - A Natick family is suing Panera after they said one of the restaurants served peanut butter to their allergic daughter.

John Russo said back in January, his wife made a Panera order online that included a grilled cheese for their daughter. His wife specified on the order that their daughter has a severe peanut allergy and this request was also printed on their order’s receipt.

“She could die, she could have an anaphylactic reaction,” said Russo.

However, when they picked their food up from the restaurant in Natick, their daughter’s grilled cheese sandwich contained peanut butter. The Russos rushed their daughter to the hospital, where she had an allergic reaction and broke out into hives. An EpiPen was used to save her.

Russo said he went back to the Panera to find out what happened and was told by the manager that it was a “translation issue.” The family is now suing for $500,000 in damages.

“They need to be held accountable for this and they need to be aware what’s unsafe and they’re putting little kids’ lives at risk,” said Russo.

Statement from Panera:

“Panera takes the issue of food allergens, including the reported incident at our franchise bakery-cafe, very seriously. We have procedures in place across the company to minimize exposure and risk for our guests and associates. We do not comment on pending litigation.”

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