25 April 2017 | 9 °C

Prawn Peril

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 107 months ago
Prawn Peril
Prawn soup

We all know that Thai food can prove hazardous, but if you're thinking of visiting your favourite seafood restaurant anytime soon, then stop reading now: a Wandsworth woman died after suffering an allergic reaction to a Thai prawn soup - despite never having a prior problem with prawns.

Elizabeth Hoborough was discovered gasping for breath by her husband in the early hours of the morning of February 28th, and despite being quickly rushed to hospital, doctors were unable to revive her. The evening before she had eaten the soup at a restaurant before going to the theatre. An autopsy discovered high levels of tryptase, which is a common indicator of anaphalaxis, a severe type of of allergic reaction.

Yet mere days before her death, Ms. Hoborough had also tried the tasty dish, with the only reaction being a headache. Meanwhile, back in 2006, she suffered a reaction to crab meat, and was prescribed EpiPen to combat anaphylactic shock. We'd think that, having experienced that, one would steer clear of seafood, yet the gastronomic delights of a gourmand tend to outweigh concerns over safety.

The coroner described her death as "extraordinary", and attributed it to a "biphasic", or secondary, reaction to prawns. Food for thought, indeed, the next time you're teasing a tantilising tiger shrimp toward your taste buds - allergic reactions can strike at any time, like thieves in the night, without warning.

Image courtesy of VirtualEm under the Creative Commons Attribution license

Last Updated 16 May 2008