After a campaign for better food safety legislation, a new law to better protect food allergy sufferers comes into force In the United Kingdom .
Natasha’s law aims to increase transparency within the food industry to better protect both people and businesses.
However, with the introduction of Natasha’s Law just around the corner, research on behalf of GS1 UK found that eight out of ten Food business operators feel unprepared for the new food regulation.
In addition, four in ten in the food industry – including food manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers – admitted they had never heard of the new law.
So what is Natasha’s Law and why was it created? Here is everything you need to know.
What is Natasha’s Law?
As announced by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in 2019, Natasha’s law requires all food companies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to put labels with a full list of ingredients on all prepackaged foods.
Currently, prepackaged foods prepared in the same premises where they are sold are not legally required to include allergen information on the packaging.
According to the new regulations, however, every prepackaged food must have a label clearly showing both the name of the food and a full list of ingredients highlighting the allergenic ingredients.
Why was Natasha’s law created?
The new directive was named in memory of Natasha’s law Natasha Ednan-Laperouse , a teenager who died of an allergic reaction to a Pret-A-Manger sandwich in July 2016.
The 15-year-old suffered a severe allergic reaction after unknowingly eating sesame seeds contained in an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette from a Pret A Manger store at Heathrow Airport.
Natasha died of anaphylaxis – a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction to a trigger such as an allergy – after she collapsed on her flight to Nice.
Her experience led her family to embark on a lengthy campaign to amend the Food Labeling Act, with the new directive promising better protection for millions of food allergy sufferers.
“What surprised us, and the reason our 15-year-old daughter Natasha died, was the partial labeling,” Natasha’s mother Tanya told ITV News.
“She read the label on the baguette, she trusted what she had read, but unfortunately sesame seeds were baked into the batter of the bread. They were invisible to the naked eye and that killed them.
“It was really something that was immediately recognized as a loophole and had to be corrected.”
When does Natascha’s law come into force?
Natasha’s law comes into force on October 1, 2021.
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