A Florida mom is raising awareness for what she believes is misleading packaging after her teenage daughter mistakenly ate a cookie she thought was safe—and died of an allergic reaction.
Kellie Travers-Stafford, a mom from Weston, FL, took to Facebook to share her family’s recent tragedy with the hopes of warning other parents of children with peanut allergies. In June, Kellie’s 15-year-old daughter Alexi was at a friend’s house when she ate a Chips Ahoy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup cookie despite being severely allergic to peanuts.
“The top flap of the package was pulled back and the packaging was too similar to what we had previously deemed ‘safe’ to her,” wrote Kellie. “She ate one cookie of chewy Chips Ahoy thinking it was safe because of the red packaging.”
After eating the cookie, Alexi started to have a reaction and immediately went home to her parents.
“She started feeling tingling in her mouth and came straight home,” the mom wrote. “Her condition rapidly deteriorated. She went into anaphylactic shock, stopped breathing and went unconscious. We administered two EpiPens while she was conscious and waited on paramedics for what felt like an eternity.”
Unfortunately, it was too late and Alexi passed away—only about 90 minutes after eating the cookie.
Kellie continued to write that Alexi knew what she was allowed and not allowed to eat, but was confused because of the packaging color and labeling. She saw the red coloring and instantly assumed it was the same kind she could safely eat. Kellie believes that Chips Ahoy should make it clearer for those who have allergies when a product contains peanuts.
“The company has different colored packaging to indicate chunky, chewy or regular but NO screaming warnings about such a fatal ingredient to many people,” she wrote. “Especially children.”
The magazine Allergic Living, urges parents of kids with allergies “to always read and re-read ingredients on packages every time” before eating anything to make sure it is safe. “It is easy to make an error, and sometimes brands will change ingredients.”
Since being posted last week, Kellie’s warning has gone viral with over 64,000 shares on Facebook. The grieving mother is urging people to share and let other parents know the dangers of the packaging.
“It’s important to us to spread awareness so that this horrible mistake doesn’t happen again,” she wrote.