A woman with a severe allergy died after eating 2 spoons of ‘vegan’ tiramisu — prosecutors say it contained cream cheese

A woman with a severe allergy died after eating 2 spoons of ‘vegan’ tiramisu — prosecutors say it contained cream cheese
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A stock image shows a plate of tiramisu, which typically contains mascarpone — an Italian cream cheese.
A stock image shows a plate of tiramisu, which typically contains mascarpone — an Italian cream cheese.

  • A woman with a severe dairy allergy died in Italy after consuming a tiramisu marketed as vegan.
  • The bosses of GLG srl, the company behind the product, are now facing manslaughter charges.
  • Prosecutors allege the tiramisu wasn’t vegan, and contained the Italian cream cheese mascarpone.

A 20-year-old woman with a severe dairy allergy died last February in Italy after eating a small amount of tiramisu advertised as vegan.

Now, prosecutors are accusing the company that produces the dessert, called “Tiramisun,” of complicity in manslaughter.

They allege that the alleging that the life-ending dessert included mascarpone — an Italian cream cheese.

The newspaper Il Giorno reported that Giovanna Anoia and her son Giuseppe Loiero, bosses of the family-run GLG srl company, are set to face trial in Milan over the death of the woman, Anna Bellisario.

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Bellisario ordered the tiramisu, sold under the Mascherpa brand, during a meal at a fast-food restaurant in Milan with her boyfriend on January 26, 2023, according to Il Messaggero, another Italian paper.

It reported, citing Bellisario’s boyfriend, that she asked for reassurance that it was free from allergens and requested to inspect the label before eating.

After two spoonfuls, she started to cough and rushed to the bathroom to make herself vomit, the report said. When she was unable to, she took cortisone and anti-asthma medication, Il Messaggero said.

Bellisario then fainted and fell into a coma for 10 days, then died on February 5, 2023, according to the newspaper.

Prosecutors in Milan indicted the company’s bosses last week, following a ruling by an investigating judge in January that barred them from doing business for a year, the newspaper said.

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According to Il Messaggero, prosecutors accused the company of preparing vegan and non-vegan products in the same facility “at the same time and on the same table.”

They also said workers lacked adequate training, the newspaper reported.

Investigators found that the dessert contained significant amounts of milk protein because mascarpone was used as an ingredient, according to Italy’s Sky TG24.

The news outlet reported that investigators intercepted a phone call from Anoia, one of GLG srl’s bosses, who said that they didn’t “think about allergy sufferers” when making products for vegans.

GLG srl did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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Eating foods containing allergens can be life-threatening for allergy sufferers due to anaphylaxis. It can also be costly for businesses.

Restaurants and manufacturers who fail to highlight that food contains allergens can face legal repercussions, as demonstrated by a lawsuit last month involving Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

The widow of a doctor with a nut and dairy allergy sued the resort and Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant after the woman died from eating a meal containing both.

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