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01st Oct 2021

New allergy laws introduced after death of 15-year-old girl in UK

Sarah McKenna Barry

Natasha suffered a severe allergic reaction after eating a sandwich that didn’t have its allergens listed properly.

Today sees the introduction of a new law in the UK which will require businesses to give a full ingredient list and allergy details on all pre-packaged foods.

The law has been called Natasha’s Law, and is named in honour of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who passed away after having an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger sandwich on a British Airways Flight in 2016.

Natasha went into anaphylactic shock, and despite the administration of two Epi-pens, she later died in a French hospital.

The 15-year-old was allergic to milk, eggs, bananas, nuts and sesame seeds, but the sandwich did not have its allergens properly labelled, and sesame seeds were baked into the dough. A legal loophole meant that Pret did not have to provide a full list of allergens on the food products that are made in store.

Natasha’s parents have since been campaigning for retailers to list every ingredient on their packaging.

Welcoming the new law, Natasha’s dad Nadim said: “This change in the law brings greater transparency about the foods people are buying and eating; it will give people with food allergies confidence when they are buying pre-packaged food for direct sale such as sandwiches and salads. Everyone should be able to consume food safely.”

Natasha’s mum Tanya said: “Natasha was always extremely careful to check the food labels and until that terrible day in 2016 hadn’t had a severe allergic reaction for over nine years.

“Nothing can bring Natasha back, and we have to live with that reality every day, but we know in our hearts that Natasha would be very proud that a new law in her name will help to protect others.”

She added: “However, there is still so much more to do to support people with food allergies including the appointment of an Allergy Tsar, to act as a champion for people with allergies to ensure they receive correct and appropriate support including joined up health care to prevent avoidable deaths and ill health.”