An Edinburgh Subway customer says she was rushed to hospital less than an hour after biting into a sandwich she claims gave her an allergic reaction.
Kiera Gleed alleges that seven minutes after eating her sub at an outlet of the fast food chain she started to notice a tingling in her throat. Within minutes, her whole body began to swell up and she developed a bright red rash.
The 24-year-old, who is severely intolerant to dairy, wheat and nuts, claims the reaction was 'one of the worst' she has ever suffered.
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Subway confirmed to Edinburgh Live they are investigating the incident.
The Midlothian local, who was dining in Edinburgh, claims she checked the company's allergen guide, left a note on the delivery app Just Eat, and tried phoning multiple times to ensure her order was kept away from all the ingredients she might react to.
After being rushed to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and suffering an anaphylactic reaction, Kiera is now looking for answers as to why this happened. She is also hoping to spread the word to make others aware of the importance of food safety.
Speaking to Edinburgh Live about the ordeal, Kiera, from Bonnyrigg, said: "I'm severely allergic to all forms of dairy and lactose, as well as wheat, shellfish, nuts and oats among others. I'm used to properly examining the packaging of the food me and my family buy and rarely actually have food delivered.
"I ordered a Subway from the Biggar Road store near me just as a quick bite to eat before work but it turned into so much more.
"I always write in the notes what I'm allergic to as I know they will see it. As well as leaving the note, I looked at the allergen guide online to check what I had ordered did not contain anything that I am intolerant to, and I also tried calling the shop six times but nobody answered.
"I took a few bites and noticed my throat started to tingle then it started to swell. I couldn't actually swallow properly and my airways became blocked. In-between my teeth started swelling and my lips as well. Most of the reactions I've had just made me sick, so this was one of the worst for sure."
Within minutes and without even finishing the sandwich, Kiera knew she was in trouble and started to panic. After phoning an ambulance, she was taken to the Royal Infirmary. Images Kiera took hours later show her whole body covered in a red and bumpy rash.
She continued: "My mum told me to phone an ambulance and take my EpiPen but using it yourself is scary. The paramedics gave me a stronger version and that came into effect. Thankfully they arrived really quickly after I phoned them.
"I was on my own for a few hours until my friends came but during that time my skin kept swelling and I was covered in blotches from head to toe. I was admitted to hospital around 3pm and didn't leave until 9pm.
"I went into work the next day but I only lasted three hours because I was so tired and still didn't feel the best."
Kiera's mum Julia said that most of her daughter's food is home cooked and the both of them are incredibly wary of what they buy while at the shops.
Julia said: "When Kiera has a reaction like this, she ends up absolutely drained. She has had allergies since birth and most of her food is home cooked. Only very rarely does she order a takeaway from anywhere and that is only after we've checked the allergen information.
"As her mum and having lived with her all her life, there isn't anything else she could have done to make sure she was safe and I'm just pleased that she phoned the ambulance when she did.
"She was really distressed when she phoned me. It was a parent's worst nightmare knowing it was our of my hands. I was relying on her being conscious enough to phone 999 and then the poor NHS need to have an ambulance available. Luckily they gave her a stronger adrenalin when they got her that stabilised her."
Kiera added that her partner has spoken with a manager at Subway and has been told that they will go to the store to investigate. Kiera also kept the half-eaten sub in her freezer in case the company needed a sample to test what was in it
A spokesperson for Subway said: "The safety and security of our guests is of paramount importance to Subway. We have very strict procedures in place to ensure that Subway restaurants serve products safely and to our customers’ satisfaction.
"All Subway restaurants are independently owned and operated by franchisees. The franchisee is already in direct contact with the customer and Just Eat, to fully investigate this matter, and ensure that we have all the facts and that the correct procedures have been followed."
A spokesperson for Just Eat said: "At Just Eat, we take allergens seriously. We want our customers to have a positive experience when ordering food from partners on our platform and are sorry to hear that in this case, the customer's experience did not reflect the standards expected. We are currently investigating this with the restaurant partner involved and are also in touch with the customer."
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