Cheshire East Council is urging all prepacked food retailers to be aware of new legislation which comes into force next month.
From 1 October, new labelling will be required for food products which are prepacked for direct sale (PPDS), 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, also any food products sold from a mobile or temporary outlet, including at outdoor events.
The new labelling law was introduced following the tragic death of 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who purchased 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.
Councillor Mick Warren, 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.
“Our trading standards staff are working with the Food Standards Agency and the Chartered Institute of Trading Standards to try to ensure that as many food outlets as possible in Cheshire East are informed of this new measure of protection for consumers.”
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.
Natasha’s parents launched a campaign to persuade the government to force food retailers to provide more prominent and clear labelling of food ingredients, resulting in new legislation.