Woman Allergic to Dairy Dies After Eating ‘Vegan’ Italian Dessert

MILAN, Italy – A young woman with a severe dairy allergy died after consuming a tiramisu that was falsely advertised as “vegan,” leading to an investigation into the dessert’s producer.
Anna Bellisario, a 20-year-old fashion student, and her boyfriend were dining at Flower Burger, a vegan burger chain in Milan, on January 26, 2023, when she ate a dish called “Tiramisun Mascherpa,” according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Despite checking the label and seeking more information about the dessert, Bellisario experienced coughing and difficulty breathing after just a few spoonfuls. She attempted to induce vomiting and took her asthma medication and cortisone, but ultimately lost consciousness due to anaphylactic shock. She remained in a coma for 10 days at San Raffaele Hospital before passing away on February 5, 2023. Bellisario had suffered from a dairy allergy since birth and had previously visited the restaurant, as reported by The Mirror.

An investigation into the incident has led to the pastry company responsible for supplying the tiramisu to Flower Burger and other restaurants. The owners of the company, a mother and daughter, are being investigated for manslaughter, according to Corriere della Sera.

The Italian Ministry of Health ordered a recall of the “vegan” tiramisu after it was suspected to contain milk. Tests revealed traces of milk and milk protein in Tiramisun products, as well as traces of egg in the mayonnaise of the sandwich Bellisario had ordered as her main dish. It is believed that production lines may have been mixed up at the pastry company, leading to the contamination, as detailed by Metro.

The tragic death of Anna Bellisario highlights the importance of accurate food labeling and the potential dangers faced by individuals with food allergies. The incident has prompted calls for stricter regulations and improved awareness surrounding allergen information. The investigation into the dessert’s producer is ongoing, and further actions may be taken to prevent similar incidents in the future, reports the Italian Insider.