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New law extends allergy labelling requirements

Fish and chip shops will be required to label pre-packed foods for direct sale, such as salads and tartare sauce, with allergen information, following the approval of a new law in Parliament.

The law, which comes into effect from October 2021, is the result of a UK-wide consultation which followed the death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who suffered an allergic reaction to a baguette she had purchased from Pret. The packaging did not display the presence of sesame seeds in the bread, which the teenager was allergic to.

At present some foods which are made, packed and sold on the same premises are not required to show ingredient or allergy information on the product label. However, the new law will change this and shops will have a two year transition period to prepare for the new requirements.

Heather Hancock, The Food Standards Agency Chair, welcomed the move and described it as a “step towards our ambition for the UK to become the best place in the world for people who have food allergies and intolerances”.

She encourages businesses to work with the Food Standards Agency to get this right, adding: “Success will mean more choice and better protection for the millions of people - our families, friends, colleagues and neighbours across the UK - who have food allergies.”

Natasha’s parents Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse said the new law would bring “greater transparency about what people are buying and eating”.

The FSA is developing a working interpretation of the types of food to which this legislation applies. This will be published on 1st October 2019.

The changes will apply in England, with similar arrangements expected to follow across the UK to provide a UK wide approach to protecting consumers.

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