The coroner who looked into Natasha’s death said she had been “reassured” by the lack of specific allergen information on the packaging. The product was prepared and sold at the same premises and so legally required no labelling under UK or EU law.
Natasha’s parents, Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse, launched a charity in memory of their daughter aiming to establish a research centre to find a cure for allergies and have campaigned for the change in the food labelling rules. They said they were “delighted” about the introduction of ‘Natasha’s law’.
Out of four options, including ‘ask the staff’ labelling on products, the government says it “received overwhelming support from consumers for full ingredients labelling, with more than 70% of individuals backing this option.”
Before the law was introduced, pre-packed directly for sale foods were not required to have product labels, and if asked by consumers then the allergen information would be given in person by the food business. This meant allergy suffers would sometimes lack confidence when buying food to eat whilst out. The new legislation will tighten the rules; giving allergy suffers greater trust in the food they buy.
“The impact of food allergy and intolerance on quality of life can be as great as or even greater than almost all other foodborne diseases.”
“Whilst it’s impossible to eliminate the risks entirely, we believe this change will mean better protection for allergic consumers.”
The new legislation covers labelling requirements for foods that are prepared and packed on the same premises from which they are sold- such as packaged sandwiches or salad made by staff earlier in the day and placed on a shelf for purchase. Natasha’s Law will come into effect in October 2021, giving businesses a transition period to prepare for the new rules. Until this date, the current EU regulations remain in place.
The changes will first apply to businesses in England, with similar arrangements expected to follow to provide a UK wide approach.
You must indicate your allergens within your ingredients list. It is a common misconception that allergens must be highlighted in bold. Natasha’s law increases the scope of the EU Food Information to Consumers Regulations and as such can be highlighted in any of the following methods;
Bold, Italic, UPPERCASE, Coloured, or any combination.
You must declare how you are highlighting your allergens in your ingredients list, whether at the start or the end of the list and must be in QUID (Quantitative Ingredient Declaration) order. Your ingredients must be legible to meet the minimum font size.
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