New allergen rules have been proposed, including listing all ingredients and allergens on foods which are prepacked for direct sale.

Food Standards Scotland, Food Standards Agency and the Department for Health and Social Care have launched a consultation on amending allergen information provisions contained within domestic food information legislation for food prepacked for direct sale

The nine- week public consultation puts forward four options on how to improve the provision of allergen information for food sold prepacked for direct sale. 

The following options have been identified as:

·      mandating full ingredient list labelling

·      mandating allergen-only labelling on food packaging

·      mandating ‘ask the staff’ labels on all products, with supporting information for consumers available in writing

·      promoting best practice around communicating allergen information to consumers

The definition of prepacked for direct sale is not in scope for the consultation. However, the rules would apply to all foods packed on the same premises from which they are being sold, before they are offered for sale. This would include those made onsite, before being placed on a shelf for sale.

The consultation follows the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the teenager who died after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette in 2016. The dough in the baguette contained sesame, to which she was allergic. The coroner at her inquest repored that Pret’s allergy labelling had been “inadequate”.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

Natasha’s parents have suffered a terrible loss, and I want to pay tribute to Nadim and Tanya for their inspirational work to deliver Natasha’s law.

We want to ensure that labels are clearer and that the rules for businesses are more consistent – so that allergy sufferers in this country can have confidence in the safety of their food.

Many businesses are already bringing changes on board independently, and in the meantime they should continue doing all they can to give consumers the information they need.

The consultation can be found here, the consultation ends 29 March 2019.