In July 2016, teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, bought an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette from Pret-a-Manger. Tragically, she died as a result of a severe allergic reaction to sesame after eating it. The baguette did not have any allergen warnings or advice on the wrapper as such advice was not required by law to be provided as the baguette had been made on the premises.
At the Inquest, the Coroner raised as a concern action that needed to be taken otherwise there was a risk that other deaths would occur. As a result of campaigning by Natasha’s parents, a law (known as “Natasha’s Law”) was passed which requires more items of food to be labelled with allergen information. This law will come into effect in October 2021 and will require business to set out full details of ingredients on the labels on pre-packed items of food.
From October 2021, a business that produces pre-packed food (any food put into packaging before being placed on sale) must follow the allergen labelling requirements and include on the label details of any of the 14 main allergens as an ingredient or a processing aid. The 14 main allergens are:
If the product contains one of the 14 main allergens, that item must be emphasised in some way on the label. This could include listing them in bold within the ingredients details and those ingredients must be declared with a clear reference to the allergen so that it can be easily understood.
Where the item for sale does not have any of the allergens as an actual ingredient, but there is a risk of some cross contamination, the labelling must include one of the following statements:
- may contain [name of allergen]; or
- not suitable for someone with [name of allergen] allergy
If you feel ill or have a reaction to anything that you have eaten, make sure you seek medical help immediately.