What is Natasha’s Law?

What happened to Natasha Ednan-Laperouse?

In July 2016, 15 year-old Natasha was travelling with her father and a school friend from London to Nice.

At Heathrow Airport she purchased a baguette from Pret-a-Manger. She checked the label but saw no mention of sesame, the product to which she was allergic. Natasha was reassured by that; she had no idea that sesame seeds had been pre-baked into the bread.

Once on board her flight Natasha suffered an anaphylactic reaction to the baguette. Despite her father administering two EpiPen injections, Natasha died later that day.

What is it and what is changing?

At the moment, when food is prepared on the premises of a shop or dining space where it is sold, the vendor is not legally required to individually label that food with an ingredient list.

Natasha’s Law, officially known as the UK Food Information Amendment, is an update to existing legislation in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (it’s likely that Scotland will follow suit).

It requires food businesses to now clearly provide:

1. Name of the food

2. A complete list of ingredients and with the 14 allergenic ingredients emphasised (for example in bold, italics or a different colour) on the labels of foods prepackaged for direct sale on the premises (PPDS).

The hope and expectation is that the new regulations will prevent severe reactions that continue to occur as a result of inadequately labelled food products. This will not only protect allergy sufferers but also give them greater confidence to buy food when they’re out.