A BURNLEY teenager died after suffering an allergic reaction to sesame seeds probably contained in a cereal bar he had eaten, an inquest was told.
Paul Howard, 16, of Thursfield Road, Fulledge, was found in the bathroom of the family home by his sister on January 27, the hearing at Burnley magistrates heard.
Allergy expert doctor Richard Pumfrey, from Central Manchester Hospital, said the teenager had suffered an attack of asthma so severe he could not breathe and that it was that what had killed him.
He said he has asked a botanical archaeologist to carry out an examination of all stomach contents to find out what he had eaten which could have lead to the attack.
The result showed that he had ingested more than one hundred sesame seeds as well as poppy seeds, linseeds and raisins.
The most likely explanation, the doctor said was that the youngster had eaten a cereal bar. Paul Howard Snr, 44, the teenager's dad, told the court his son had suffered sesame allergy but had always only had a mild reaction such as vomiting.
A post mortem examination showed the cause of death was an allergic reaction to food.
East Lancashire coroner Richard Taylor said the youngster had died from natural causes. He added: "It would seem trite to suggest that this was caused by natural causes but that is what it was.
"He had a reaction to sesame seeds which brought on an attack of asthma from which he did not survive."
After the inquest his dad of Thursfield Road, Burnley paid tribute to his son and said: "I just can't understand how this happened.
"We all knew he was allergic to sesame seeds but the reaction had always been so mild before and then this happens.
"One moment he was there and the next he's gone.
"I would like to thank all of Paul's mates for their support since his death.
"They still come round to the house to see us and their support has been brilliant."
Paul was studying a BTEC National Diploma in public services at Burnley College and was a former pupil at Towneley High School.
He was a member of the college's football academy and also played for the Fulledge Youth Team.