The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) says food outlets should list all ingredients.
This initiative follows the death in 2016 of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse after eating a baguette from Pret A Manger. The baguette contained sesame seeds that weren’t listed on the label.
The FSA adopted the strictest options in its recommendation to Ministers. The FSA chairwoman said this is because “this is a life-threatening issue for a proportion of the population”.
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. But these considerations needed to be balanced against the risks to people with allergies.
Now wrapped food will need labels.
Food freshly prepared in front of you still won’t need a label. This is because it’s assumed a conversation will take place with the server 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. But sandwiches made on-site, wrapped and put out on a shelf will now need full labelling. This must include any of the 14 major food allergens included in the food.
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. 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.