The UK Government has unveiled proposals to strengthen allergen labeling laws and give consumers clear information on the food.


Image: The UK government has launched consultation to strengthen allergen labelling laws. Photo: courtesy of Crown copyright.

A consultation has been launched tougher labeling laws for allergy sufferers.

As per the new laws, food outlets selling pre-packaged food directly for sale need to follow new rules to protect the health of two million food allergy sufferers across the UK.

As part of current rules, food prepared on the premise in which it is sold is not required to show allergen information on the package. The proposed rules will help disclose the full ingredients on labeling.

The government has proposes new rules following the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette.

UK environment secretary Michael Gove said: “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.

“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.”

The proposed reforms are said to cover labeling requirements for foods, which are packed on the same premises from which they are sold.

Under consultation, the government has provided four options to food businesses and allergy sufferers to give their opinion for improving the way allergy information is provided on the foods.

The options include mandating full ingredient list labeling, mandating allergen-only labeling on food packaging, mandating ask the staff labels on all products with supporting information for consumers available in writing and promoting best practice around communicating allergen information to consumers

Allergy UK CEO Carla Jones said: “We welcome this announcement and the commitment shown by the Environment Secretary on this issue. At Allergy UK we believe that whilst those living with allergies must be vigilant on their own behalf, the broader food industry needs to do more than just the bare minimum when it comes to catering for the allergic community.”