An Italian woman with a severe dairy allergy died days after eating a tiramisu she was led to believe to be vegan.
Anna Bellisario, then 20 was out to dinner with her boyfriend at a vegan burger chain called Flower Burger in Milan, Italy, on Jan. 26, 2023, when she ate a dish called ‘Tiramisun Mascherpa,’ Italy’s Corriere della Sera reported.
Bellisario, who was a fashion student, reportedly checked the label on the tiramisu and asked for “more information” about the desert before consuming it.
An unscrupulous death
After eating just a few spoonfuls, she started coughing and had trouble breathing. She attempted to make herself vomit and took asthma medication and cortisone she had with her, only to lose consciousness after suffering from anaphylactic shock.
Bellisario was in a coma for 10 days at Milan’s San Raffaele Hospital before she died on Feb 5, 2023. She suffered from a dairy allergy since birth and had visited the Italian restaurant before, the Mirror reported.
A mother and a daughter who run the pastry company that supplied the pre-made tiramisu to Flower Burger and 63 other restaurants are now being investigated for manslaughter.
Following the incident, the Italian Ministry of Health ordered that the ‘vegan’ tiramisu be recalled after it was suspected to contain milk.
Traces of milk and milk protein were found in tiramisu products from the Tirimisun brand and traces of egg were found in the mayonnaise of the sandwich Bellisario ordered for her entree, the Mirror reported.
Short cutting safety measures proves fatal
It’s thought that Tiramisun might have ‘mixed up’ production lines for their vegan pastries with their desserts containing milk, according to Metro.
Judge Fiammetta Modica called the incident ‘a worrying picture of unscrupulousness.’
It was suggested that if the separation of the ingredients and environments had been respected, and the staff had been given the correct training – instead of just a four-hour course – there would have been no mixing of casein with products of vegetable origin in the pastry laboratory, which led to the fatal outcome for the girl.