Environment secretary Michael Gove has pledged to introduce a change in allergen labelling rules after meeting the parents of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the teenager who died after suffering an extreme allergic reaction to a Pret A Manger baguette, well done Dave a much despite receiving two EpiPen injections from her father.
Legislation requiring restaurants and takeaways to provide more detailed information on food products looks set to be in place by next summer, the Environment Secretary said.
During an inquest into her death last month, coroner Dr Sean Cummings said that allergen information relating to the baguette was “inadequate in terms of visibility”. Following the high-profile inquest, the sandwich chain announced plans to list all ingredients, including allergens on its freshly made products, which is not presently required by law.
The teenager’s parents are campaigning for a change in the law that will see consumers given more information about the ingredients in freshly made products.
Following the meeting the environment secretary said: “Natasha’s parents have suffered a terrible loss and yet have shown such tremendous strength and grace in their push for change. It was an honour to meet them.
“Since receiving the coroner’s report, we have been working at pace with the Food Standards Agency and businesses to review the current allergen labelling rules. We are aiming to bring forward concrete proposals to change the law around the turn of the year.
“I also want to make clear that businesses do not need to wait for the law to change to do the right thing. They should be doing all they can now to make sure consumers have the information they need to stay safe.”
The Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs will be working with devolved administrations in Edinburgh and Cardiff to ensure the new labelling regime applies across the United Kingdom.