Allergens - 'Natasha's Law' to be introduced by summer 2021
A new law will require food businesses to include full ingredients labelling on pre-packaged foods, the Government has announced today in a drive to protect the country’s two million food allergy sufferers. Following the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the teenager who died after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette, the Environment Secretary has confirmed legislation will be brought forward by the end of summer to strengthen allergen labelling rules.
Under current laws, food prepared on the premises in which it is sold is not required to display allergen information in writing, meaning allergy sufferers sometimes lack confidence buying food out.
The new legislation, known as ‘Natasha’s Law’, will tighten the rules by requiring foods that are pre-packed directly for sale to carry a full list of ingredients – giving allergy sufferers greater trust in the food they buy.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: 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.
The government will introduce legislation by the end of summer mandating full ingredients labelling for foods prepacked for direct sale, and the new laws will come into force by summer 2021 – giving businesses time to adapt to the change.
The introduction of ‘Natasha’s Law’ follows a consultation in January proposing four options, including full ingredient list labelling; allergen-only labelling; ‘ask the staff’ labels on products; and promoting best practice to businesses.
The consultation received overwhelming support from consumers for full ingredients labelling, with more than 70 per cent of individuals backing this option. The Food Standards Agency’s recent advice also recommended that the government should implement full ingredients labelling.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) will continue to provide food businesses with guidance on allergens, and through its ‘Easy to Ask’ campaign, it seeks to empower young people to ask food businesses about allergens when eating out so they can make safe food choices.