Food businesses urged to take action ahead of new labelling law
Food sellers in Barking and Dagenham are being urged to take action to make sure they comply with a new law on allergen labelling, which comes into force next month.
From Friday, 1 October, businesses selling pre-packaged foods, such as sandwiches, salads, pasties, or cakes, will have to include full ingredients on the product label with allergenic ingredients emphasised.
Currently, food prepped on the premises it is being sold on do not need to display allergen information.
The new law, known as Natasha’s Law, has been implemented following the death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died in 2016 after suffering an allergic reaction to a baguette purchased at a Pret sandwich shop while at Heathrow Airport.
Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety, said: “This is a landmark law for people with allergies and it will hopefully mean they can enjoy eating out easier and safer like everyone else.
“It will no doubt take some adjusting to for businesses, which is why we are urging food sellers across our borough to start looking into what they need to do to comply so that they don’t get caught out – failing to adhere to it isn’t just illegal, it could be life-threatening.”
The new law will affect a range of businesses from fast food outlets and takeaways to bakers, butchers, and even market stall holders.
The change won’t affect any food that is not in packaging or is packaged after being ordered by the consumer. Although these still require allergen information to be provided, it can be done verbally over the counter.
More information about Natasha’s Law is available on the Food Standards Agency website, visit food.gov.uk/business-guidance/introduction-to-allergen-labelling-changes-ppds