Allergy label laws welcomed by family of girl who died after eating Pret sandwich

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse was allergic to sesame seeds which were not listed as an ingredient

Isabelle Gerretsen
Friday 25 January 2019 14:29
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The family of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse: 'If Pret A Manger were following the law, then the law was playing Russian roulette with our daughters life'

The parents of a teenager who died after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret A Manger sandwich have welcomed government proposals to introduce tougher food labelling laws.

Fifteen-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died of anaphylaxis in July 2016 after eating a baguette containing sesame seeds, which was not listed as an ingredient.

The government launched a consultation into strengthening current food labelling laws in a bid to protect more than 2 million food allergy sufferers in Britain.

Under current laws, food companies are not required to list the ingredients of food packaged and sold on the same premises.

Natasha’s parents, Nadim and Tanya, welcomed the government’s plan to introduce "Natasha’s Law".

“As parents it is so important that something good comes out of this incredible tragedy that has happened. It is a sense of duty for all people with allergies in the country," Mr Ednan-Laperouse told the BBC's Today Programme. “It is vital that action is taken to prevent this kind of tragedy happening to other people,” he said.

His wife added that she hoped the consultation would lead to rules requiring food companies to list all allergens and ingredients on food packaging.

“This is the beginning for a change of something that is good and will help so many people. Other countries are watching because they are having the same problem: they’ve got rising allergies and their laws need to be tightened. We’ve got an opportunity to spearhead something really amazing here,” she said.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said "Natasha’s Law" aimed to provide clearer and more consistent rules for businesses.

The family of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse: 'If Pret A Manger were following the law, then the law was playing Russian roulette with our daughters life'

“Natasha's parents have suffered a terrible loss, and I want to pay tribute to Nadim and Tanya for their inspirational work to deliver Natasha's law,” he said. “We want to ensure that labels are clearer and that the rules for businesses are more consistent - so that allergy sufferers in this country can have confidence in the safety of their food,” Mr Gove added.

After the inquest into the teenager’s death, Pret A Manger announced in October that it would list all ingredients on packaging.

Allergy UK chief executive Carla Jones said food companies need to do "more than just the bare minimum" when catering for allergy sufferers.

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