A change to food allergen information laws

United Kingdom

Following the government’s recent consultation on food labelling, Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has confirmed that new laws will be introduced requiring all businesses who prepare and package food on the same premises to which they are sold are to carry a full list of ingredients – dubbed “Natasha’s Law”. Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s parents campaigned for the legislation after the tragic loss of their daughter who died as a result of an allergy to the contents of on-site pre-packed foods.

The change in legislation cover labelling requirements for foods that are prepared and packed on the same premises from which they are sold – such as a packaged sandwich or salad made by staff earlier in the day and placed on a shelf for purchase.

The announcement comes after the Food Standards Agency stated that it supported the idea of listing all the ingredients on labelling. The idea was also backed by 70% of consumers responding to the consultation. Recommendations were also made by Food Standards Scotland on 15 May 2019 to the Scottish Ministers who as of yet have made no announcement.

Legislation is set to be introduced in England and Wales by the end of summer 2019, and will come into force by summer 2021. This is designed to give businesses time to adapt and implement the changes throughout their organisations.

Businesses should review their policies and procedures, and ensure that all ingredients are accurately recorded on the label attached to the food item being sold.

To find out more about the options outlined in the government’s consultation, please read our previous publication which can be seen here.