Natasha’s Law – what this means for food allergies

Natasha’s Law

Natasha’s Law – what this means for food allergies

From October 1st 2021, Natasha’s Law comes into effect. This means any pre-packaged food for direct sale will have to come with a full ingredient list. For allergy sufferers, it’s a cause for celebration and should make eating outside their homes just that little bit easier.

The law gets its name from Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died mid-flight in 2016 after purchasing a pre-packed sandwich from Pret a Manger. Little did she know, one of the hidden ingredients was sesame seeds, which she was deathly allergic to. Despite the best efforts of her father and two EpiPens, she unfortunately passed away.

Now, after tireless campaigning by her family, Natasha’s Law is soon to be in effect. Here’s what that might mean for people with food allergies.

What is Natasha’s Law?

Any business selling pre-packaged food will now have to provide a full list of ingredients on the label. Pre-packaged food includes anything made before you even arrive at the shop or fast-food restaurant. It could be a sandwich from the supermarket, fast food kept under a heat lamp, pre-made meals in hospitals, or anything made elsewhere by another business.

It will be a legal requirement for food sellers to provide a full list of ingredients, with a specific focus on the 14 allergens put forward by the Food Standards Agency. This does not apply to anything made on-site.

In the case of takeaways, allergen information has to be made available before purchase, with the same going for restaurants. For more information on specific cases, you should be able to find what you need on the Food Standards Agency website.

Is this good news?

The legal requirement is only a benefit for allergy sufferers. If you have a food allergy, you’ll know how it feels to go out to an unfamiliar restaurant and have that sense of fear. A fear that you never really know what’s in your food. With this new law, food providers have to be more transparent, making life easier for anyone with food allergies.

But some are worried restaurants and takeaways aren’t prepared enough for the change. 4 out of 5 businesses aren’t ready for the change. 2 out of 5 food service staff haven’t even heard of Natasha’s Law.

It’s clear there’s still work that needs to be done before food allergy sufferers can feel completely safe. Hopefully, this change is the first in many steps in the UK becoming a leader in food safety.

If you have any worries about potential food allergies, reach out to our team of allergy specialists. We can help diagnose any concerns and provide best guidance going forward. Just reach out to us on 02031 433 449.

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