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Allergen labelling

The Government has announced plans to introduce a new allergen labelling law to help further protect the UK’s two million people living with food allergy[1].

The new legislation will mandate full ingredients labelling for foods which are prepacked for direct sale. These are foods that have been made and packed on the same premises from which they are being sold. For example, a packaged sandwich or salad made by staff earlier in the day and placed on a shelf for purchase.

Currently, these foods are not required to carry labels and information on allergens, as it is expected that the customer can speak with the person who made or packed the product for this information. This has led to people mistakenly assuming that the food does not contain any allergens.

The announcement is the result of a UK-wide consultation, launched in January, that sought views on updating food allergen labelling laws for foods prepacked for direct sale. It followed the tragic death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, as a result of an allergic reaction to a baguette she had eaten which did not display allergen information on the packaging.

It is proposed that the new laws will come into force in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by summer 2021 – giving food businesses time to adapt to the change.

Many food businesses have already taken steps to improve food labelling. Others who have yet to make changes are being urged to do all they can ahead of the implementation date to help consumers make safe food choices.

References

1.https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-allergen-labelling-law-to-be-introduced-by-government 

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