On 17th July 2016, Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died tragically after consuming an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette. Natasha had purchased the baguette from a Pret A Manger store located within Heathrow Airport. Sadly, Natasha died on a BA flight to Nice, after an anaphylactic reaction to the baguette which contained hidden sesame seeds. Following the tragic death of the teenager the Government has announced new food labelling regulations – Natasha’s Law coming into force by summer 2021.
Current Food Labelling Legislation
The pre-packaged baguette that Natasha purchased was made on the premises that she brought it from. Under the current regulations for food allergens businesses who make pre-packaged foods directly on the premises and are sold directly on the premises to the final consumer are exempt from the food labelling laws of allergens. As long as there are signs on display instructing customers to speak to an employee about any allergens then this is currently adequate.
Questions have now been raised about allergen labelling, highlighting deficiencies with the current UK regulations. With 1 in 4 people suffering from an allergy it is becoming increasingly important that consumers should feel safe in the knowledge the foods that they eat will not cause them any harm and that products are labelled correctly. Those who suffer from an allergy rely on the ingredients listed on the label to help make an informed choice about whether the product that they choose is safe for their consumption. Currently, with some products not legally required to have this information it can lead to consumers having a lack of confidence and potentially putting themselves at risk of an allergic reaction.
Need help implementing food allergen labelling in line with the new legislation? Get in touch with our legally qualified Health and Safety team today.
Peace of Mind for Allergy Sufferers
Since the death of Natasha, her parents have campaigned for better food labelling to protect those with food allergies. They have successfully achieved this as Michael Gove the Environment Secretary has announced the introduction of the new Natasha’s Law.
Michael Gove stated “These changes will make food labels clear and consistent and give the country’s two million food allergy sufferers confidence in making safe food choices.”
Under Natasha’s Law food businesses will be required to label their pre-packaged foods directly for sale with the full ingredients list, thereby protecting food allergy sufferers.
The law will come into force in summer 2021 allowing businesses two years from now to implement these changes. Then from summer 2021 it will become mandatory to have this labelling on pre-packed foods directly for sale.
Speak to our expert Health and Safety Consultants here at Wirehouse for further advice about Natasha’s Law and practical Food Safety advice for your business.