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Warning to traders as new food law for allergies introduced

Food retailers have been warned to be aware of new legislation over prepacked food that has come into force.

From 1st October, new labelling is required for food products that are prepacked for direct sale, to comply with new legislation and protect consumers.

The new law applies to any food business selling prepacked food for direct sale, requiring traders to clearly name the product with a full list of ingredients prominently labelled.

This can include food that customers choose themselves from a display unit as well as products kept behind a counter, and any food products sold from a mobile or temporary outlet, including at outdoor events.

The new labelling law was introduced following the death of 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who bought a baguette from a high street fast-food retailer, not knowing the baguette contained sesame seeds pre-baked into the bread. She suffered a fatal allergic reaction.

Coun Mick Warren, the chair of Cheshire East Council’s Environment and Communities Committee, said: “We cannot emphasise enough the importance of this new legislation and what it can mean for consumers with a food allergy and for the retailers.

“It’s been named ‘Natasha’s Law’ after the poor girl who suffered a fatal collapse, and we urge our food retailers in the borough to take all the necessary steps to ensure their

customers are made fully aware of the ingredients within the food products they offer.”
Natasha died in July 2016 after buying the baguette from a Prêt à Manger outlet at Heathrow Airport, suffering a fatal allergic reaction to the sesame seeds baked into the bread.

At her inquest, the coroner strongly criticised the company for failing to properly alert customers to potentially fatal allergens, saying that its signs were inadequate. At the time, detailed allergen labelling was not required.

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