Michael Gove announces the introduction of ‘Natasha’s Law’

Posted: 25 June 2019 | | No comments yet

A new legislation has been announced that will require food businesses to include full ingredients labelling on pre-packaged foods.

Natasha's Law will mean pre-packed sandwiches like this must contain allergen labelling

To protect the country’s two million food allergy sufferers, Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced a new law that will require food businesses to include full ingredients labelling on pre-packaged foods.

Following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the teenager who died after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette, the Environment Secretary confirmed legislation will be brought forward to strengthen allergen labelling rules.

The new legislation, known as ‘Natasha’s Law’, will tighten the rules by requiring foods that are pre-packed directly for sale to carry a full list of ingredients – giving allergy sufferers greater trust in the food they buy.

“Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse have been an inspiration in their drive to protect food allergy sufferers and deliver Natasha’s Law,” Gove said. “These changes will make food labels clear and consistent and give the country’s two million food allergy sufferers confidence in making safe food choices.”

The government will introduce the legislation by the end of the summer, mandating full ingredients labelling for foods prepacked for direct sale, and the new laws will come into force by summer 2021 – giving businesses time to adapt to the change.

“We want the UK to become the best place in the world for people living with food hypersensitivities,” added Heather Hancock, Chair of the Food Standards Agency. “The impact of food allergy and intolerance on quality of life can be as great 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 reforms cover labelling requirements for foods that are prepared and packed on the same premises from which they are sold. Currently, these foods are not required to carry labels, and if asked by a consumer allergen information must be given in person by the food business.