Say Cheeeese! When Vegetarians Eat Ham at Pret A Manger


Keep smiling? Like a Pret A Manger employee? No matter what?

The issue of mislabelled products in Pret A Manger continues. It is 2019. Two customers have died, a third incidence was nearly fatal, and several in hospital from unlabelled allergen in Pret products, numerous customer warnings ignored before and even after deaths. Only after the deaths became public has Pret SLOWLY started to label products. But mislabelling products as well as placing products behind wrong labels continues.

Some customers who complain on Twitter assume that this is a one-off or rare problem…


A little reminder that Pret was cleared in New York where a customer sued Pret after he suffered an allergic reaction ALSO to an unlabelled sesame product, the same allergen that Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died of, from a London shop. Even though Pret won the case it did not give them any sense of urgency or a wake-up call to start labelling products! ONLY when customer deaths became public did Pret slowly implement labelling! Hello? No alarm bells ringing still?!

This blog entry was “inspired” by yet another customer going to Twitter, and who for religious reasons does not eat Ham:

2019-06-28 Religious eat Ham


For the sake of time and not wanting to clutter my page with endless examples, here are just a few visuals that show that the problem of wrongly labelled products in Pret is a VERY common problem and continues to this day!

The main reason for this, from my experience having worked at Pret, is chronic under-staffing of low-paid workers who are often not trained well. They are pressured, rushed and pushed so much, they work in often cramped areas, that these mistakes keep happening.

2018-11-11 Tiny HFC area4

What is so beyond believe to me is, that in the UK even with two customer deaths, a third nearly fatal, numerous customer warnings ignored before AND even after people died… Pret goes full steam ahead, doing business as usual and gets away with it. In the U.S. it would hail a storm of class action lawsuits and the leadership would face prison! In the UK they put small business owners (often Indian or other with non-British background) in prison after 1 death! And rightly so, but Pret is too big, too rich and in my opinion, too white! Sorry, but I left my PC days behind long time ago!

In the UK people remain lulled in and want to believe the fairy tale that is Pret A Manger.




Vegetarians, or people, who for religious reasons don’t eat pork, keep settling for an apology and cheap freebies from Pret.

So, here’s a visual again on how common this problem is. Just few of the many examples. I had to fix this issue countless times as a Team Leader. In my 10 years in Pret from 2008 to the end of 2017, I had to fix this on a weekly basis, sometimes several times a day!

The other issue also is that, even though the standard is in place to not mix items on one tray, due to lack of staff, rushed for time to not lose Mystery Shopper bonus, staff bake Mozzarella Croissants on previously used Ham Croissant Trays. They even sometimes put both together on one tray to safe time and washing up. This also happens with the sweet croissants and the danger of traces of nuts touching other items. Staff are not supposed to do this, but because they often even work overtime without pay, they stop caring. I had to deal with this many times as well, retrain, redo etc. etc. etc…… And again, I don’t even blame the low-paid worker here, because when they don’t finish their production in time, they are fear managed and scared to lose their job. So, anyone assuming that at times the Veggie product did not touch the Meat product, or wasn’t baked in the “juice” of the Ham or Meat product, think again!

People are fooled with the facade of Pret. But I emphasize again that Pret A Manger is a FACTORY behind the scenes, there is NOTHING “Lovingly made” as their stickers boast! There’s no time nor room for Love in Pret A Manger!

These visuals are only a selection, there is much more, and not everyone goes on Twitter with pictures:

2019-05-03 Ham instead of Veg croissant

Link to Initial Tweet

2019-05-03 Ham no veg


2019-04-21 Ham instead of Veg croissant2


2019-06-02 Ham in Veg croissant


2015 Ham instead of Veg croissant

After TWENTY-NINE YEARS… This is 2015. Link to Tweet


This one is particularly misleading, because the Ham Croissant does NOT have a slice of tomato on top like the Mozzarella & Tomato Croissant has, to distinguish each other additionally to the labelling. So, in a rush the Hot Chef, or whoever put the croissants in the oven, added the tomato by mistake. OR they didn’t realize this was the Ham croissant, as in a frozen state they can look similar, although the Ham has black pepper on top, and the Mozzarella Croissant white cheese sprinkles. But again, due to rushing, these mistakes happen fast. From 2017:

2017-04-29 Ham instead of Veg with TOMATO on top



2019-04-23 Veggie sticker on ham buttie


2018-12-06 Ham instead of Brie Veggie Baguette

After TWENTY-THREE YEARS… Prosciutto instead of Brie Baguette


2018-11-30 Tuna instead of Ham toastie

A reversed problem: Tuna instead of Ham Toastie


To safe space… the Ham & Cheese Collage (Links underneath)

Ham Cheese Collage

30. Dec. 2017
03. Mar. 2018
14. Feb. 2017
11. Mar. 2018
24. Feb. 2018
24. Jan. 2018
10. July 2017
18. Feb. 2016
11. Dec. 2014
14. Sep. 2014
11. July 2017 Lifelong Vegetarian…

Commercial break: A little humo(u)r

2012 Ham Veg



2018-03-05 Ham no Veg USA

USA 2018


2019-06-09 Ham no Veg


… and so on…

A more extensive list on this problem also with soups wrongly labelled >>> “Ongoing Issues, hospitalization, mislabelling…” but I stopped collecting in Dec. 2018 as this is ridiculous!

Again this is due to UNDERSTAFFED Shops, rushed staff, and at times staff don’t understand English well, placing products behind wrong labels.


What staff say anonymously on Review sites, YouTube, Twitter, FB and other websites:

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The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in Pret Staff Complaints


2019-06-30 44 staff 50 Clive

June/July 2019 Glassdoor results


May 2019:
TWO Pret Staff have died
>>> Link to Article



I worked at Pret A Manger for almost 10 years and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I also tell my story for the first time verbally in this >>>
podcast interview based in California, and wrote an article in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.




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