Family suing Panera Bread for $500,000 over online order

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BOSTON, Mass. – A Massachusetts family is suing a popular restaurant after they say their daughter suffered a major allergic reaction to a sandwich she was served.

Last January, John Russo said he ordered a grilled cheese sandwich online from Panera Bread for his 6-year-old daughter.

Along with the order, Russo says he included a note that said his daughter suffered from a severe peanut allergy.

“My daughter had taken a few bites of the sandwich and said, ‘Is this grilled cheese, grampa?’ It tastes funny,” Russo remembers.

At that point, they say they pulled apart the sandwich and saw peanut butter spread on top of the grilled cheese.

“She literally looked at my father-in-law, her grandfather, and said, ‘Am I gonna die, grampa?” Russo told WBZ.

The child was rushed to a nearby hospital where she broke out in hives.

Panera issued a statement to WBZ, saying, “Panera takes the issue of food allergens, including the reported incident at our franchise bakery-cafe, very seriously. We have procedures in place across the company to minimize exposure and risk for our guests and associates.”

Russo says the Panera manager told him that a “translation issue” may be to blame for the mix up.

However, he is still furious.

“It’s not like a knife of peanut butter just brushed up against the sandwich. You’re talking about spoonfuls of peanut butter hidden in the sandwich,” he said.

The family is now suing Panera for $500,000 in damages.

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