On 23 January 2020, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) published a consultation on updates to its existing technical guidance in order to reflect changes to food allergen labelling legislation in England. This follows the introduction of legislation introduced by the UK Government in September 2019 after a UK-wide consultation following the death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse.
Natasha died as a result of an allergic reaction to sesame in a baguette that she had eaten.
The changes are supported by the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Ireland governments, and these nations are also working towards introducing similar requirements.
From 1 October 2021, food which is packaged on-site before being ordered by a customer will be required to have an ingredients list with the allergens emphasised on it. This change means that allergen information will be found on more packaged foods, in line with the wishes of those who responded to the consultation.
The FSA is now consulting on updates to its existing technical guidance to reflect the legislative changes, in order to help businesses and enforcement authorities understand the new requirements.
Stakeholders in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are being asked to respond to the consultation as the guidance is expected to cover all three nations. In Scotland, relevant guidance will be produced by Food Standards Scotland (FSS).
The consultation opened on 23 January and will remain open for comments until 6 March 2020.
Source: FSA, 23 January 2020