Statement regarding the inquest of Joe Dobson 

Statement regarding the inquest of Joe Dobson 

  • 10 October 2022
  • News

Joe Dobson, 19, died from an allergic reaction after eating at a Mexican restaurant while on holiday on 1st November 2021, a coroner has ruled. 

Joe, who was from London, had gone to a restaurant with friends in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico. He had eaten a vegetarian burrito which contained sesame. Coroner for South London, Mark Taylor, said that Joe was allergic to sesame, eggs, milk and peanuts. 

Joe had left his adrenaline auto-injectors at an AirBnB where he was staying and had walked back there from the restaurant to retrieve these. Friends were aware of Joe’s medical condition and assisted but sadly Joe became unconscious and tragically died later in hospital. 

It’s been reported in the media that Joe had told the restaurant staff multiple times in Spanish and English about his allergies but these were not taken seriously. The court heard how friends witnessed Joe eat three bites of the burrito before realising that it contained sesame.  

As reported by The Mirror newspaper, Coroner Taylor said: “It seems there was a gap of 10-15 minutes before the pen could be used. I have no evidence to tell me whether it would have made any difference in terms of outcome.” 

Simon Williams, Chief Executive at Anaphylaxis UK, said:  

“We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Joe Dobson. What should have been an enjoyable experience on holiday turned into tragedy. This highlights the challenges that people face when travelling abroad and the importance of understanding these challenges and the seriousness of anaphylaxis.” 

Anaphylaxis UK would like to reinforce the following advice; 

  • • Always carry two adrenaline auto-injectors with you at all times and check that these devices are in date. 
  • • If you have any symptoms of anaphylaxis, stay where you are. You should lie flat with your legs raised to help blood flow back to your heart and vital organs.  
  • • Use your AAI without delay. Follow specific instructions for your device. Then call 999, ask for an ambulance and say anaphylaxis (pronounced ‘anna-fill-axis’). 
  • • Use your second AAI after five minutes if you get worse or there’s been no improvement. Read our What to do in an emergency for more information. 
  • • Make sure that your family and friends are familiar with the device you have and know how to use it. You can order a trainer device from the manufacturer’s websites for free: 
    Emerade Trainer 
    EpiPen Trainer 
    Jext Trainer 

If you are concerned about allergies and would like more information and support, please call our national helpline on 01252 542029 or contact