On the 5 September a new Statutory Instrument (SI)was laid in UK Parliament tightening the rules to help protect the food allergy and food intolerance sufferers in England.
The new law, known as ‘Natasha’s Law’, will require food businesses to include full ingredients labelling on pre-packed for direct sale foods. The law titled Food Information (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2019, will come into effect from October 2021.
Currently, food prepared on the premises in which it is sold is not required to display allergen information on the label, meaning allergy sufferers sometimes lack confidence buying food to eat whilst they are out.
The law follows the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the teenager who died after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette, the government confirmed stronger laws would be implemented to protect those with allergies and give them greater confidence in the food they buy.
The reforms cover labelling requirements for foods that are prepared and packed on the same premises from which they are sold – such as a packaged sandwich or salad made by staff earlier in the day and placed on a shelf for purchase.
Food businesses across the country have already taken steps to improve food labelling and outlets are being urged to do all they can ahead of the implementation date to help consumers make safe food choices.
These changes will apply to businesses in England, with similar arrangements expected to follow in the devolved nations to provide a UK wide approach to protecting consumers.