More pre-packaged food like takeaway sandwiches and salads will need their full ingredients listed when new allergen labelling rules come into force at the end of this week – and businesses need to be ready, Kent Trading Standards reminded today.
From Friday 1st October, Natasha’s Law will also require places that make and sell pre-packed foods on site to clearly highlight ingredients known to cause allergies, such as nuts or dairy, on labels.
The changes will also apply to businesses who sell their own pre-package food at other outlets they run, like market stalls or mobile food vans.
The new law is named after Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died after suffering an allergic reaction to sesame seeds in a Pret a Manger baguette.
And it follows a tireless campaign by the teenager’s parents to strengthen food labelling rules and better protect the estimated 2 million food allergy sufferers in Britain today.
Under current legislation, food prepared on the premises in which it is sold is not required to display allergen information in writing. It meant there was no specific allergen information on the packaging of the baguette that caused Natasha’s fatal reaction.
When the UK Food Information Amendment was announced in June 2019, closing this legal loophole, Natasha’s mother and father Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse said they hoped it would help save other allergy sufferers and their families from the enduring agony that they would always bear.
The reform would also be a fitting legacy for Natasha’s life, the couple said.
The requirements for Pre-Packed for Direct Sale (PPDS) food labelling will change in Wales, England, and Northern Ireland.
Kent County Council’s Head of Trading Standards Steve Rock said: “By providing potentially life-saving allergen information on more food packaging, this new law will help protect millions of consumers.
“Research shows over a third of young people with food allergies don’t feel confident asking serving staff for allergen information – so significantly this legal change will give food allergy sufferers between 16 and 24, who are trying to lead independent lives, more confidence in the ‘on-the-go’ food they buy.
“Businesses should act now and check if their products are affected and what they need to do to comply with the incoming rules.
“Any business who needs help and advice with allergy labelling should call 03000 412020 or email TSbusinessadvice@kent.gov.uk”
Find out more about the Ednan-Laperouses’ campaign on the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation website and sign up to the FSA ‘News and Alerts’ at food.gov.uk/news-alerts to stay up-to-date with allergen news.
Follow #SpeakUpForAllergies and #easytoak on social media for free advice on living with food allergies.