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Woman dies after opening pasta sauce
The Guardian ^ | December 23, 2004 | Sam Jones

Posted on 12/22/2004 8:48:11 PM PST by ijcr

A woman with a severe allergy to tomatoes died after opening a tin of spaghetti bolognese, it emerged yesterday.

Raya French, 37, a part-time receptionist from Tankerton in Kent, was preparing dinner for her four children two weeks ago when the tomato sauce in the can sent her into anaphylactic shock.

She was taken to hospital, but never regained consciousness. She was allowed to die four days later after her family decided that she had no chance of survival.

Mrs French developed an allergy to raw tomatoes three years ago, and would come out in hives and suffer asthma attacks. Recently the reactions had become more severe.

Her husband, Stephen, said yesterday that despite what had happened, his wife would still want their children - Alexandra, 15, Tom, 10, Maddison, six, and Louis, four - to enjoy the festive season.

"It's been a very difficult time, but we're working towards Christmas," he said.

Canon Patrick Sales, the vicar of All Saints church in nearby Whitstable, said that more than 300 people had attended her funeral last Wednesday.

"She was a governor at the local school where her children were pupils.

"She knew a lot of people in the community and there was a big response to her death."

Mr Sales said of Mrs French's husband and children: "They have been very brave and positive about all this."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: allergy; death; killertomatoes; tomatoes; uk
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Ragu kills!
1 posted on 12/22/2004 8:48:11 PM PST by ijcr
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To: ijcr
"Her husband, Stephen, said yesterday that despite what had happened, his wife would still want their children - Alexandra, 15, Tom, 10, Maddison, six, and Louis, four - to enjoy the festive season."

For some reason I expected that to read "would still want their children to enjoy tomatoes."

2 posted on 12/22/2004 8:50:45 PM PST by Darkwolf377 (Atheist federal employees-- demand to work on Christmas!)
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To: ijcr

THIS is TOO weird.

a)..Why would a woman with a severe allergy to tomatoes choose to feed bolognaise sauce to her family?

b)...How are they planning on being festive when their mother died a week ago?

Something stinks here.


3 posted on 12/22/2004 8:51:43 PM PST by Happygal (liberalism - a narrow tribal outlook largely founded on class prejudice)
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To: ijcr

Death...it's in there.


4 posted on 12/22/2004 8:51:58 PM PST by Petronski (A suitable case for treatment.)
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To: Happygal
a)..Why would a woman with a severe allergy to tomatoes choose to feed bolognaise sauce to her family?

My first thought exactly. What was she doing anywhere near a tomato product? Did she forget how to read?

5 posted on 12/22/2004 8:53:46 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (All I ask from livin' is to have no chains on me. All I ask from dyin' is to go naturally.)
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To: Happygal
That's exactly what I was thinking too.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS,my friend.:-)

6 posted on 12/22/2004 8:54:01 PM PST by nopardons
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To: ijcr

I wonder what sort of question was asked that would require her husband to say that he still wants the children.


7 posted on 12/22/2004 8:54:08 PM PST by BROKKANIC
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
Did she forget how to read?

Even then, there's usually a tomato or a little Italian dude on the label...kinda like a pictogram.

8 posted on 12/22/2004 8:55:38 PM PST by Petronski (A suitable case for treatment.)
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To: Happygal

***b)...How are they planning on being festive when their mother died a week ago?

Something stinks here.***

Happy, don't judge the words of anyone who is in deep grief and shock. This poor man still doesn't know what hit him, and what's ahead for him. He's doing his best for his kids, and HE'S IN SHOCK.


9 posted on 12/22/2004 8:56:12 PM PST by kitkat (Merry CHRISTmas, everyone)
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To: Happygal

I don't know, my husband has the same reaction to bananas and he won't allow them in the house.


10 posted on 12/22/2004 8:56:46 PM PST by tiki (Won one against the Flipper)
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To: BROKKANIC
that would require her husband to say that he still wants the children.

Read the whole sentence - it makes more sense when you don't stop in the middle.

11 posted on 12/22/2004 8:57:59 PM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Happygal

Ummm I have a tomato allergy. Not *that* severe (well not anaphylactic at least) -- my family still eats tomato sauce. I prepare, don't consume. Doesn't phase me. *shrugs*

I think if this was a developing allergy in this woman she had no idea it would come to this. I know I was stunned when mine developed. Shocked actually. I found out about shrimp and tomato on the same day and had enough of a reaction to require epinephrine.

Normally you hear these freak reaction things about nuts and shellfish. I honestly have *never* heard it about tomatoes. I would same I'm glad to be able to note it but I'm really not.

Poor thing tho, and her poor family. I really feel for her kids. That just sucks.


12 posted on 12/22/2004 8:58:28 PM PST by twinzmommy
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To: nopardons

And a most merry and happy of Christmases to you too. :-)

Don't know what I'm doing up so late. I've still so much to do, I think I'm in Christmas denial.


13 posted on 12/22/2004 8:59:19 PM PST by Happygal (liberalism - a narrow tribal outlook largely founded on class prejudice)
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To: Darkwolf377

Me, too.

"There are starving kids in China, so why let that spaghetti go to waste?"


14 posted on 12/22/2004 8:59:25 PM PST by Rastus
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To: tiki

My daughter says banana's make her throat feel like it's closing. I thought she was just trying to get out of eating them at first. Now she's older, and I believe her. What happens to your husband?


15 posted on 12/22/2004 9:00:10 PM PST by bonfire
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To: Happygal
From Global Security newswire, Monday, December 03, 2001 issue:

Al-Qaeda: Italian Cell Sought Chemical Weapons

An al-Qaeda cell in Milan, Italy, is believed to have attempted to obtain cyanide, a component used in chemical weapons (see GSN, Nov. 26), Italian officials said last week.

The officials wiretapped conversations among members of the Milan cell as part of an investigation into planned chemical attacks by groups linked to Osama bin Laden, the Associated Press reported.

A transcript of one call showed that cell leader Essid Sami Ben Khemais spoke of an unspecified drug, also called “tomato cans,” which Italian officials said they took to mean cyanide.

“I’d like to learn how to use the drug and see the effect on someone breathing it,” Ben Khemais was recorded as saying.

Authorities recorded the conversations in March and arrested Ben Khemais and four other suspects in April. They are expected to stand trial in December, the AP reported.

“Do we have hard evidence they possess chemical weapons?” Italian prosecutor Stefano Dambruoso asked. "No. Is it very possible they have them? Yes”

(Victor Simpson, Associated Press/Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 1).

16 posted on 12/22/2004 9:01:08 PM PST by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

"..developed an allergy to raw tomatoes three years ago".

I wonder if she thought the stuff in the can was cooked - and she was just allergic to raw? (Why would cooked vs.raw be any different?) Or - perhaps she thought if she was real careful it would be okay - but it spilled on her? ("Well, my kids like it, I'll take a Benidrel and it won't be too bad.")

Sure makes ya wonder what lies in wait for us all!?


17 posted on 12/22/2004 9:04:16 PM PST by geopyg ("And the whiners will eventually move on to bitch about something else." (Donald Rumsfeld))
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To: ijcr

Being exposed to tomatoe sauce to her is like being exposed to anthrax or cyanide for everyone else. How many people here want to play with cyanide or anthrax raise your hands? This sounds suspiciously like a suicide. On the other hand, maybe she was trying to build up her immunity to it. Like Ted Kennedy. Ted Kennedy is allergic to alcohol. When he drinks a lot he feels dizzy and giddy and has problems driving so that`s why he constantly drinks, to improve his immunity.


18 posted on 12/22/2004 9:04:28 PM PST by Imaverygooddriver (I`m a very good driver and I approve this message.)
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To: ijcr

19 posted on 12/22/2004 9:04:35 PM PST by Time is now (We'll live to see it......Does anyone see it yet?....)
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To: Happygal
What ARE you doing up so late? LOL

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel,but I still have a wee bit to do,before Christmas eve hits.

20 posted on 12/22/2004 9:04:48 PM PST by nopardons
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To: geopyg

I've been allergic to latex for years. Each year, it takes less and less exposure to cause a reaction...I ended up in the ER for the last one.

Incidently, people allergic to latex are also extremely likely to be allergic to avocadoes, bananas, and kiwis. Guess how I learned that?

And yes, my throat closes up, my lips and tongue swell, and I cough uncontrollably. I carry an epipen everywhere.


21 posted on 12/22/2004 9:09:49 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: Izzy Dunne

Haha... Color me retarded! My mistake. Living in such close proximity to so many liberals has diminished my literal comprehension and reading ability... I was trying to FEEEEEEL the article. ;)


22 posted on 12/22/2004 9:10:16 PM PST by BROKKANIC
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To: ijcr

They are sometimes known as "Pizen apples" up in the hills. (poison apples)


23 posted on 12/22/2004 9:10:49 PM PST by Arkinsaw
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To: tiki

Your husband is extremely likely to be allergic to latex, avocados, and kiwi fruit, too.

If his doctor doesn't know, it would be a good idea to tell him.


24 posted on 12/22/2004 9:11:23 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
What was she doing anywhere near a tomato product? Did she forget how to read?

She probably had done it before with no problem, but those exposures add up, and suddenly they're lethal. It can happen.

25 posted on 12/22/2004 9:13:06 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: TheMom

Ya may wanna ban eeeeek from the kitchen.......:o)


26 posted on 12/22/2004 9:13:33 PM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: Darkwolf377
For some reason I expected that to read "would still want their children to enjoy tomatoes."

I was thinking that as I read that as well.

27 posted on 12/22/2004 9:15:34 PM PST by Blue Highway
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To: geopyg

sure makes you wonder what lies in wait......

yeah, kinda. i figure Gods got my address and can come a knockin when he feels i have been a bafoon long enough in this world.

i always did say, "if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." }:-D


28 posted on 12/22/2004 9:16:31 PM PST by 537cant be wrong (no kittie! thats my pot pie!)
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To: Darkwolf377

That is exactly what I was thinking... sad but funny...


29 posted on 12/22/2004 9:17:02 PM PST by todd1
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To: ijcr

I wonder how long it will be before the family decides to sue the makers of the product for failure to place a warning on the can. I will be surprised if the family accepts that the woman acted completely irresponsibly.


30 posted on 12/22/2004 9:17:16 PM PST by SALChamps03
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To: Petronski
Death...it's in there.

ROFL! Have I told you lately that I just adore you, Petronski? :o)

31 posted on 12/22/2004 9:18:18 PM PST by arasina (So there.)
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To: twinzmommy

I had a bad reaction to onions a couple years ago...found out I was HIGHLY allergic to them. It sapped my strength for a couple weeks. I had to crawl up the stairs to my job, and spent my entire shift sitting.

I hope to NEVER go through that again!!


32 posted on 12/22/2004 9:18:31 PM PST by trussell (I Never Frown, even when I am sad,because I never know who is falling in love with my Smile!!!)
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To: ijcr

Probably a French conspiracy. Chef Boy-Ar-Dee.


33 posted on 12/22/2004 9:18:38 PM PST by GVnana (If I had a Buckhead moment would I know it?)
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To: arasina

Let me put my pants on first. ;O)


34 posted on 12/22/2004 9:19:10 PM PST by Petronski (A suitable case for treatment.)
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To: ijcr

I wonder if the smell did her in, or did she get some on her skin, or did she eat them???


35 posted on 12/22/2004 9:19:13 PM PST by Peace Is Coming
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To: Blue Highway

So did she die from Tomato fumes? It says she died from opening the can when preparing the family's diner. I thought you actually had to ingest something for their to be an allergic reaction to food, or at least some kind of skin contact. Was she bathing in tomato sauce?


36 posted on 12/22/2004 9:19:19 PM PST by Blue Highway
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To: Judith Anne

That is very interesting. I don't much care for bananas and will hardly ever eat em (twice a year is a lot). The last couple times I felt like I was choking on em and tossed them without finishing. It never occurred to me I might have an allergy. Hmm.. I know latex makes me break out something awful.


37 posted on 12/22/2004 9:19:32 PM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: Peace Is Coming

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.


38 posted on 12/22/2004 9:19:39 PM PST by bonfire
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To: Judith Anne

Don't get me any where near oil based lacquer paints...or certain perfumes. My son really likes this one scent and it drives him crazy that I can smell it when I am downstairs and he is upstairs.

But I have a really strong reaction to it. I immediately get asthma symptoms and start to cough my head off. I never go to church without my inhaler, because I never know when someone will be wearing something I can't tolerate.

Two weeks ago, I forgot my inhaler, and ended up having to leave about half way through sevices. Spent the first 10 minutes coughing up all the junk my lungs were producing.

A lot of modern scents contain chemicals that can really cause people to react.

And I seem to be one of them!


39 posted on 12/22/2004 9:20:30 PM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: Blue Highway
So did she die from Tomato fumes?

Sounds like it. Good Lord, talk about being sensitive to something! . . . A molecular dose did her in. Scary.

40 posted on 12/22/2004 9:23:29 PM PST by LibWhacker
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To: twinzmommy
I think if this was a developing allergy in this woman she had no idea it would come to this.

I developed an allergy to Dawn dish detergent that worsened very gradually. I couldn't figure out what was making my hands swell up every so often and at first thought it was a food allergy because it always happened after dinner. Then, one day, it dawned on me. Switched to a different product and all is well.

41 posted on 12/22/2004 9:23:47 PM PST by arasina (So there.)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts; Happygal
a)..Why would a woman with a severe allergy to tomatoes choose to feed bolognaise sauce to her family?

She may have felt save with cooked tomatoes since previous allergic reactions were to raw. A canned bolognaise sauce can be highly processed. She might not have realized that the allergic reaction could become that life threatening that quickly. Or that the severity of reaction could increase so dramatically over such a short time, 3 years.

A case in point: A few years ago, my sister developed a wierd allergy to raw fruits like apples and pears, after years of enjoying them raw. She can eat them canned, baked, jammed, but not raw. I will alert her after reading this story.

42 posted on 12/22/2004 9:23:53 PM PST by fortunecookie (My grandparents didn't flee communism so that I could live in Kerry's Kommune - and I won't have to.)
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To: Blue Highway

I am allergic to coffee. I don't even like going down the coffee aisle in the grocery store and smelling it. But I don't know whether it bothers me because I associate bad things with that smell or if the odor really can make me sick.


43 posted on 12/22/2004 9:24:14 PM PST by knuthom
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To: Petronski

You bad, but I love ya.


44 posted on 12/22/2004 9:24:55 PM PST by arasina (So there.)
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To: ijcr

If she had an extreme allergy, what was she doing opening up a tomato-based sauce? It's like a person with a bee allergy going out with the honey-gathering crew.


45 posted on 12/22/2004 9:26:16 PM PST by MHT
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To: knuthom

The smell of flavored coffee in the grocery stores make me feel nauseous. Especially halzelnut. It's such a cloying smell....feels like it coats my lungs.


46 posted on 12/22/2004 9:26:46 PM PST by bonfire
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To: AntiGuv

If you get a chance, you might want to google latex-banana allergies...it's eye-opening.

One of the things that you might want to talk to your doctor about. Allergies like these can become more serious as minor exposures take place, even if you don't notice the reaction much at the time, can occasionally lead to anaphylaxis.


47 posted on 12/22/2004 9:27:29 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: Petronski
Even then, there's usually a tomato or a little Italian dude on the label...

Say hello to...Chef BoyarDoom.


48 posted on 12/22/2004 9:29:17 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (All I ask from livin' is to have no chains on me. All I ask from dyin' is to go naturally.)
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To: ijcr
This is the first time I've ever heard of anyone being allergic to tomatoes.
(Ya learn something everyday)
49 posted on 12/22/2004 9:29:41 PM PST by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

There are a lot of serious allergies; I know a woman who, like you, had a problem with certain scents...ruined her social life, she couldn't go anywhere without running into someone wearing something she was seriously allergic to.


50 posted on 12/22/2004 9:30:57 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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