08/10/2021 - Permalink

People with food allergies to benefit as new allergen labelling law comes into force

Related topics: Health / Partner organisations / Public protection

Shropshire Council welcomes the new allergen labelling law which will provide extra protection for people in Shropshire with a food allergy, intolerance or coeliac disease. The changes mean that from last Friday 1 October 2021, these people will be able to make safer choices about the food they buy.

The changes, also known as Natasha’s Law, require businesses to label all food known as prepacked for direct sale. The labelling will require the name of the food and a full list of ingredients, with any of the 14 major allergens emphasised in the list.

The allergen law was introduced following the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died after eating a pre-packaged baguette which at the time did not require ingredients labelling.

Emily Miles, Chief Executive of Food Standards Agency (FSA), said:

“This new allergen law is a huge step in helping to improve the quality of life for around two million people living with food allergies in the UK.

“If these changes drive down the number of hospital admissions caused by food allergies, which has tripled over the last thirty years, and prevent further tragic deaths such as Natasha’s, that can only be a positive thing.

“I understand how difficult the past 18 months have been for food businesses, and I am grateful for the effort that so many have made to prepare for the changes.”

The type of food which will now need full labelling includes ‘grab and go’ foods that are prepacked such as sandwiches, salads and fast food. The food must have been packaged on the same site it is sold before a customer selects or orders it.

The FSA has been supporting businesses to prepare for the changes for over a year, with tools to help them understand which products are covered by the new rules, labelling guidance and sector-specific advice available on the FSA website.

Simon Fuller, Shropshire Council’s health protection manager, said:-

“Our trading standards and environmental health officers are responsible for enforcing this new law. We will aim to work with food businesses in these early stages to ensure they fully understand the allergen labelling changes and are compliant in delivering them.”

The FSA is also encouraging consumers to make their allergies known to food business staff. This message was highlighted in our #SpeakUpForAllergies campaign earlier this year which encouraged young people to always speak about their allergies when ordering food.

More details and a list of top tips for safely buying takeaway food is available on the FSA website