A young boy with a dairy allergy died after his father mistakenly gave him a gluten-free chocolate bar thinking it was a milk-free product. (Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)


A 11-year-old boy with dairy allergy died after his father accidentally gave him a bar of chocolate that contained milk powder, an inquest heard on Monday (22).

Raffi Pownall, from Burnley in Lancashire, died on June 8 following a severe allergic reaction.

Blackburn Coroner’s Court heard that his father, Thomas, gave Raffi the bar thinking it was part of a Morrisons supermarket’s “free from” range.

But after the boy started vomiting, Thomas looked at the label and saw that it was gluten-free but contained milk powder.

Thomas tried to save his son by giving him an EpiPen and his inhaler. He called emergency services when it became clear Raffi wasn’t recovering.

Raffi was immediately taken to a hospital in Blackburn where he was declared dead.

Raffi with his mother Ayesha

Coroner Richard Taylor told the inquest that Raffi had “inadvertently ingested a small piece of chocolate containing milk powder that was believed to be ‘free from’.”

“His father went to have a look at the chocolate bar again and checked the ingredients and found that it wasn’t in fact free from dairy, but contained milk powder as it was a gluten-free bar,” the coroner added.

“He explained that Raffi had previously vomited on occasions when he’d drank milk and then recovered. But this time he was sick and became hot. His father grabbed his inhaler and EpiPen but it was clear they were not working and the emergency services were called. Mr Pownall did everything he could to save his son.”

Raffi’s parents did not attend the inquest.

Following Raffi’s death, teachers at his school described him as ”lovely boy who was a pleasure to teach and would be missed dearly”.

A family friend described the child as someone who was “full of life, intelligent and superseding his age”.

A Morrisons spokesman said: “Our deepest sympathies are with Raffi’s family at this difficult time.”