THE parents of a 15-year-old girl who died after an allergic reaction to a Pret A Manger sandwich are "delighted" as all shops will be made to list ingredients.
Under "Natasha's Law" all food businesses will be required to include full ingredients labelling on pre-packaged food from 2021.
The legislation, which will apply to England and Northern Ireland, was announced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs today.
Natasha, from Fulham, west London, suffered a severe allergic reaction after unknowingly eating sesame contained in an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette she had bought from a Pret a Manger at Heathrow Airport.
She died of anaphylaxis after collapsing on board a flight to Nice on July 17, 2016.
'A FITTING LEGACY'
The teenager's parents appeared on on This Morning today alongside Sarah Ferguson, who has been appointed patron of the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation.
She spoke of an "epidemic" of allergy sufferers, telling viewers: "You can help, because the more money goes into [allergen] immunotherapy, we can make a difference, and stop allergy, full stop."
Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse, earlier that they were "absolutely delighted" by the move to full allergen and ingredient labelling.
They said: "While Natasha's Law comes too late to save our beloved daughter, we believe that helping save other allergy sufferers and their families from the enduring agony that we will always bear is a fitting legacy for her life."
Although the new legislation is due to be introduced this year, businesses will be given a two-year implementation period to adapt to the change.
CHANGE OF RULES
Under current rules, food prepared on the premises in which it is sold – such as a packaged sandwich or salad made by staff – is not required to display allergen information on the package.
The new legislation will tighten the rules by requiring foods that are pre-packed directly for sale to carry a full list of ingredients, Defra said.
It comes after a consultation, in which more than 70 per cent of individuals backed the option for full ingredients labelling.
While Natasha's Law comes too late to save our beloved daughter, we believe that helping save other allergy sufferers and their families from the enduring agony that we will always bear is a fitting legacy for her life.
Food and environment secretary Michael Gove called Natasha's parents an "inspiration" following the announcement of the law.
"These changes will make food labels clear and consistent and give the country's two million food allergy sufferers confidence in making safe food choices."
Allergy UK chief executive Carla Jones also welcomed the announcement, saying they were "delighted" with the legislation.
But the trade body representing the UK's hospitality sector cautioned that new food labelling practices could be "impractical and potentially hazardous".
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Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: "Some smaller businesses may struggle with the unwieldy new legislation and it is almost certainly going to lead to much less choice for customers.
"There is also a risk that the new measures, which will not circumvent cross-contamination and will be open to mislabelling, will only promote a dangerous reliance on labelling."
Defra said food businesses across the country had already taken steps to improve food labelling and were urging outlets to do all they can ahead of the implementation date to help consumers make safe food choices.
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