Man With Peanut Allergy Dies After Eating ‘May Contain’ Chocolate

in Food Allergy, Food Allergy News, Peanut & Tree Nut
Published: January 22, 2016
Bruce Kelly died after eating Bruce Kelly died after a reaction to candy packaged with a peanut warning. Photo: Handout/Courtesy StarTribune

A peanut-allergic Minnesota man has died following a severe reaction to chocolate. Bruce Kelly, 22, ate three or four pieces of chocolate from a package that warned the confection was made in a plant that also processes peanuts.

Kelly, from Ramsey, Minnesota, died on January 18, 2016. He and his twin brother, Ryan, were both diagnosed with peanut allergies at 10 months old, and Bruce also had asthma, according to reports.

“Nearly every chocolate bar you buy has the peanut warning on it,” Brian Kelly, the boys’ father told the Minneapolis StarTribune. “But no more ignoring labels just because it didn’t bother them before,” he said in reference to his other son.

“That’s about all I can do,” said the heartbroken father. “I can’t stop everything he’s going to eat, because he’s 22.”

Ate a Quantity of Chocolate

The StarTribune reported on its website that the twins did avoid peanut ingredients in food. However, Bruce’s mother, Beth Kelly, said her son had become lax about minding the precautionary peanut warnings (often generically referred to as ‘may contain‘ warnings) on packages.

In fact, her son had eaten a piece of chocolate from the same box a few days before his fatal reaction, despite the peanut warning on the product. He had no reaction that candy.

On Jan. 18, 2016, Bruce took three or four pieces of chocolate from the package with him while making the trip from his mother’s house to his father’s place, about 20 minutes away. By the time he arrived, the StarTribune reports the young man was vomiting, and having trouble breathing.

His father administered epinephrine, and did chest compressions, and within minutes emergency services arrived. Bruce later died in hospital.

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