Mom says teen with allergy died after eating cookie, shares story to ‘spread awareness’

Author: CBS News
Photo via Chips Ahoy

A woman says her 15-year-old daughter died in late June after making a fatal choice at a friend’s house: “She ate one cookie of chewy Chips Ahoy thinking it was safe because of the ‘red packaging.'” The woman, Kellie Travers-Stafford, said it wasn’t safe for her daughter because it contained a “peanut product.” She said she is now sharing her story to “spread awareness.”

“There was an open package of Chips Ahoy cookies, the top flap of the package was pulled back and the packaging was too similar to what we had previously deemed ‘safe’ to her,” Travers-Stafford posted last week on Facebook. “She ate one cookie of chewy Chips Ahoy thinking it was safe because of the ‘red’ packaging, only to find out too late that there was an added ingredient…. Reese peanut butter cups/chips.”

The teen, Alexi Ryann Stafford, died within an hour and a half of eating the cookie, according to Travers-Stafford.

The mom posted a picture showing two packages of different Chips Ahoy varieties — both in red packaging.

But they also show different labels. One clearly shows the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups logo.

“As a mother who diligently taught her the ropes of what was okay to ingest and what was not, I feel lost and angry because she knew her limits and was aware of familiar packaging, she knew what ‘safe’ was,” she wrote.

Chips Ahoy said Sunday in a tweet it takes allergens “very seriously.”

“Chewy Chips Ahoy! made w/ Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups packaging clearly shows that it contains peanuts through words and visuals,” it said in a statement. “Package color indicates Chewy, Chunky, or Original. Consumers should always read the label for allergy information.”

Travers-Stafford said: “The company has different colored packaging to indicate chunky, chewy, or regular but NO screaming warnings about such a fatal ingredient to many people. Especially children.”

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