On 25th June DEFRA announced that the UK Government plans to introduce new legislation this summer which will mandate full ingredients labelling for foods that are prepacked for direct sale.
It is proposed that the new laws will come into force in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by summer 2021, giving food businesses time to adapt to the change.
The Scottish Government also intends to take forward full ingredient labelling for foods prepacked for direct sale and aim to implement the new laws by autumn 2021.
The new legislation, known as ‘Natasha’s Law’, covers 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 reform will require these products to carry a full list of ingredients with the 14 allergens emphasised (for example in bold font or underlined). Currently, these foods are not required to carry labels, and if asked by a consumer allergen information must be given in person by the food business.
The review of allergen labelling legislation followed from the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died after eating a baguette from Pret a Manger at Heathrow airport in July 2016. The Coroner who presided over the inquest of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse concluded that the legislation was not adequate and requested a review.
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