New food allergen labelling came into effect on 1 October, providing extra protection for people with a food allergy, intolerance or coeliac disease.
These changes to the law mean that people will be able to make safer choices about the food they buy.
Known as Natasha’s Law, it resulted from the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died after eating a pre-packaged baguette which at the time did not require ingredients labelling.
This new law requires businesses to label all food known as prepacked for direct sale. Labels require the name of the food and a full list of ingredients, with any of the 14 major allergens https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/allergen-labelling-for-food-manufacturers (link) emphasised in the list.
The type of food which will now need full labelling includes ‘grab and go’ foods that are prepacked such as sandwiches, salads and fast food. The food must have been packaged on the same site it is sold before a customer selects or orders it.
The FSA (Food Standards Agency) has been supporting businesses to prepare for the changes for over a year, with tools to help them understand which products are covered by the new rules, labelling guidance and sector-specific advice is available on the FSA website.
Working with local businesses
Epping Forest District Council environmental health officers will be working with local food businesses in these early stages to ensure they fully understand the allergen labelling changes and are compliant in delivering them.
Trading Standards at Essex County Council is responsible for enforcing the new law.
The FSA is also encouraging consumers to make their allergies known to food business staff by speaking up when ordering food.
More details and a list of top tips for safely buying takeaway food is available on the FSA website.
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