Allergen Update: Natasha’s Law to be introduced in 2021

Published: 2 Jul 2019

The untimely passing of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse in 2016 has been heavily covered in the press with management of allergens being placed at the forefront of food safety within the food and hospitality sector.

Nastaha (15) died after eating a baguette purchased from a coffee outlet which caused her to suffer anaphylaxis in 2016. The inquest into Natasha’s death heard how Natasha bought the baguette unwittingly knowing it had sesame seeds within the bread which Natasha was allergic to.

Following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse in 2016, a new law is set to be introduced in England and Northern Ireland by the summer of 2021.

Under "Natasha's law", food businesses will have to include full ingredients labelling on pre-packaged food.

Businesses will be given a two-year implementation period to adapt to the changes.

Natasha's parents said "helping save other allergy sufferers and their families from the enduring agony that we will always bear is a fitting legacy for her life".

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the couple were an "inspiration".

"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," he said.

CSC will continue to monitor and provide updates on Natasha’s Law.

CSC allergen advice:

Allergen protocols are fully embedded in our food safety law and it is extremely important that allergens are managed well within all food businesses at every stage in the process. All allergen reactions and fatalities can be avoided with good practices at site and it is fundamental that these are adopted to avoid innocent people suffering.

People deserve food they can trust and a well managed, trusted and caring operation is not only good for the consumer but also for the business.

Below are important allergen procedures which should be adopted:

  • Awareness - All staff should be aware of the importance of allergen awareness. Members of the kitchen team and front of house must be trained and knowledgeable of the allergen content of food and trained in allergens. This must include agency or contracted workers.
  • Clear, well presented, up to date allergen information of foods sold/served in the food establishment must be readily available for members of the public and staff made aware of these. Menus and/or display boards can be used for this purpose.
  • Any changes to the menu or any changes of ingredients are updated in the allergen information and all staff made aware.
  • Segregation – Ensure that all allergen products are kept in sealed plastic containers to avoid any cross contamination of products and ensure all allergens ingredients are kept separate.
  • Whilst much focus is placed on the 14 allergens that must be declared by law, it is important to remember that there are many other ingredients that your guests could have an intolerance to, eg. Chilli. It is therefore critical that the same due diligence is applied in this instance.

Even the most well thought out policies can be flawed if clear lines of communication in relation to allergen management are not followed. It is imperative that the front of house team communicate effectively with the kitchen team to ensure that food orders are processed correctly to avoid any confusion. Having a standard operating procedure in this instance can prevent unfortunate scenarios.

For further advice, training or assistance, do not hesitate to contact CSC.

Click here to access our Elearning course on Allergen awareness