The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said that food outlets should list all ingredients in order to protect customers with allergies.
This initiative follows the death in 2016 of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse after eating a baguette from Pret A Manger that contained sesame seeds that weren’t listed on the label.
The chairwoman of the FSA said that its recommendation to ministers it has adopted the strictest of options as “ultimately this is a life-threatening issue for a proportion of the population”.
Whilst there are risks with this very strict requirement – some outlets may be put off serving people with allergies altogether, food may be mislabelled in busy and hard pushed kitchens, and it may push up costs for outlets – these considerations needed to be balanced against the risks to people with allergies.
Food freshly prepared in front of you still won’t need a label, as it is assumed a conversation will take place in which you can state your allergens, but a sign will need to be displayed encouraging customers to be aware about allergens in their chosen food. However, any sandwich that is made on the premises, wrapped and put out be picked from a shelf will now need full labelling of the 14 major food allergens.
Pret A Manger, whose food is prepared in this way, have welcomed the FSA proposal. The parents of Tanya Ednan-Laperouse called the recommendations ‘a momentous decision’.
The government has welcomed the FSA’s recommendations and DEFRA, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will make the final decision on whether to go ahead with the new rules.
O’Neill Injury Solicitors are one of the foremost specialist food and gluten intolerance solicitors in the UK. Their special interest in this field comes from the principal Solicitor’s first hand family experience of gluten poisoning.