Natasha’s Law is coming into effect this October, in response to the unforgettable tragedy in July 2016, when Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15, died after suffering a fatal allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette, as the label did not contain a full list of allergens.. 
The background 
 
Reassured that the food label did not list sesame seeds, Natasha bought a baguette at Heathrow airport before boarding a plane to Nice. She suffered an anaphylactic reaction during the flight and died later that day. 
 
Since her death, her parents have campaigned for better food labelling, to prevent similar tragedies in the future. With the Food Standards Agency reporting that over two million people in the UK have a food allergy, and in the 20 years to 2012 there has been a 615% increase in hospital admissions in the UK for anaphylaxis, this was an issue that needed to be dealt with. 
 
In 2019, her parents founded the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, also known as ‘Natasha’s Army’, to support people with food allergies. Both parents received OBEs in recognition of their services to people with allergies. But perhaps, their greatest achievement to date, is lobbying government ministers for the new law change, now named after their teenage daughter Natasha. 
 
What’s to come 
 
Natasha’s Law is designed to give those with allergies complete certainty that the Pre-Packed for Direct Sale (PPDS) food they are buying is safe for them to eat. Previously, food prepared on the premises in which it is sold, was not required to display allergen information on the label. The new legislation coming into effect in October 2021 means this is no longer the case, and a full list of ingredients must now be provided. 
 
Does the new law apply to me? 
 
The new law applies to everyone selling PPDS, which the Food Standards Agency (FSA) define as: 
 
Food packaged before the consumer selects or orders it (for example: packaged sandwiches and boxed salads). 
Food presented to the consumer in its packaging (either completely, or partially enclosed). 
Food packaged at the same site, or premises it is sold (this would also include if a café were giving away packaged samples that were made on the same premises). 
 
It does not cover foods packed on the sales premises at the consumer’s request. 
 
Required information 
 
The following information must be clearly displayed on PPDS packaging, or labels: 
 
Name of the food 
Full ingredients list 
Emphasised allergenic ingredients (e.g., in bold, italics, or a different colour). 
 
Failure to comply 
 
If food businesses fail to provide the correct allergenic information on PPDS, they will be liable to an unlimited fine, which could result in criminal prosecution. 
 
How we can help 
 
About Face Solutions has over 30 years’ experience in providing the best, most cost-effective labelling and printing solutions, and food labelling software. 
 
If you need help getting ready for this new law, or advice on choosing the right food labelling solutions to keep your customers safe, please contact our team on 01252 878520. 
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