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Florida teen with peanut allergy dies after unknowingly eating Reese’s Chips Ahoy cookie

The 15-year-old went into anaphylactic shock, dying within 90 minutes of eating the cookie

One Florida mom is issuing a warning after she said her daughter died from a peanut allergy when she confused a regular Chips Ahoy! cookie for a peanut butter one. She’s calling out the company for unclear packaging. 

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Alexi Ryann Stafford, 15, was at a friend’s home last month when she ate a cookie from an open package of Nabisco’s Chips Ahoy! Cookies. The red wrapping looked similar to the type she had at home. However, the top flap was peeled back, hiding the Reese’s label. 

"She started feeling tingling in her mouth and came straight home," her mother, Kelli Travers-Stafford, wrote in a Facebook post Thursday. 

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Although the family administered two EpiPens while waiting for paramedics to arrive, Stafford’s “condition rapidly deteriorated.” She went into anaphylactic shock. She stopped breathing and died within 90 minutes of eating the cookie.

Travers-Stafford said the family is “still in shock” but wants to alert others about labels on packaging to spread awareness. 

“A small added indication on the pulled back flap on a familiar red package wasn’t enough to call out to her that there was ‘peanut product’ in the cookies before it was too late,” she continued. “The company has different colored packaging to indicate chunky, chewy, or regular but NO screaming warnings about such a fatal ingredient to many people.”

Amid comments about the incident on the official Chips Ahoy! Cookies Facebook page, Nabisco's parent company Mondelez International released a statement, according to Today

“We were very saddened to hear about this situation,” read the statement. “We always encourage consumers to read the packaging labeling when purchasing and consuming any of our products for information about product ingredients, including presence of allergens.”

The company announcement noted that the packaging for Chips Ahoy made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups “prominently indicates, on both the front and side panels, the presence of peanut butter cups through both words and visuals.”

In a comment on Facebook, the company stated, “We take allergies very seriously and all of our products are clearly labeled on the information panel of the packaging for the major food allergens in the U.S. (milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans).”

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