Today sees Natasha’s Law come into effect, requiring all pre-packaged foods to carry a full ingredients list. BD Together has been working hard to ensure we were ready for these new regulations across our school catering business, and have implemented all the necessary measures to ensure we were compliant in advance of the law coming into effect.
Natasha’s Law has been introduced following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse at the age of 15 in July 2016 following a severe allergic reaction. Natasha had a serious sesame allergy and was not aware that sesame seeds had been baked into the bread of a sandwich she had bought at Pret a Manger in Heathrow Airport prior to boarding a flight to Nice. The fact that the packaging did not display any allergen information reassured Natasha that the food was safe for her to eat. As the baguette was made on the premises, Pret a Manger was not required by law to display the ingredients list on the wrapper.
The new law includes stricter regulations for the labelling of pre-packed food for direct sale to carry a full ingredients list in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This will include food selected from display units or behind counters. The label will need to list all the ingredients with any of the 14 allergens contained within it detailed in bold.
With an estimated 1 in 4 people living with allergens in the UK, BD Together has always ensured that its school catering teams cater for children with food allergies and its staff are trained to be aware of food allergies and intolerances and the associated risks.
We have been working with Saffron, our web-based catering management solution that provides nutritional content and allergen information breakdown, to ensure all our pre-packaged food is correctly labelled. Tri-Star, our supplier of biodegradable and compostable disposables, has created the labels in line with Food Standard Agency guidelines to ensure best practices.
Darren Tranter, MD of BD Together, commented, “At BD Together we have always catered for children with food allergies so that they are able to have school meals and that they, their parents and carers can be reassured that their school meals are safe. Natasha’s Law is an important step forward and we are pleased that the industry as a whole is now required to clearly label food with their ingredients and allergy information.”