A law has been passed in UK Parliament requiring food businesses to include full ingredient labelling on pre-packaged foods to protect the two million food allergy sufferers in the UK.
Environmental secretary Michael Gove announced in June that the legislation, known as Natasha’s Law after teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who died after having an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette, would be introduced by the end of the summer.
Natasha’s Law requires that food prepared and packed on the same premises they are sold, which were previously exempt from labelling, will display the full ingredients or allergens. It will come into place on October 2021 to give businesses a transition period to incorporate the new rules.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) will publish information on 1 October to give businesses advice on how to prepare and adjust to the changes. Some food businesses, including Pret a Manger, have already started displaying full allergen information on pre-packaged food.
Food minister Zac Goldsmith said: “This is a significant moment for the millions of allergy sufferers in England and a fitting tribute to Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse’s tireless campaigning. The introduction of this law will make it easier for allergy sufferers to make clear, safe choices when buying food.”
Food Standards Agency chair Heather Hancock said: “This is an important and welcome step towards our ambition for the UK to become the best place in the world for people who have food allergies and intolerances.
“I encourage businesses large and small to work with the Food Standards Agency to get this right. Success will mean more choice and better protection for the millions of people – our families, friends, colleagues and neighbours across the UK – who have food allergies.”
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s family said: “The introduction of Natasha’s Law brings greater transparency about what people are buying and eating, lays down new standards for the food companies, and highlights the battle against the growing epidemic of allergies.”