Should labelling laws for allergens be extended?

Following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove has announced a consultation period around tightening labelling laws.

The teenager died after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette. Currently food prepared on the premises where it is sold does not have to display allergen or ingredient information on the packaging.

Michael Gove 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.

Source: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), news release 25/1/19.

Many businesses are improving their allergen labelling in advance of any legislation. However, some smaller independent outlets may resist the change, arguing that it is adequate to ensure staff are aware of ingredients and are able to answer questions if asked. This legislation will apply to food outlets in our region including Birmingham, Derby and Leicester.

DEFRA is giving Food businesses and allergy sufferers a choice of four options to improve the way allergy information is provided for fresh foods such as salads and sandwiches made on the premises. The four options are:

  1. Mandating allergen-only labelling on food packaging
  2. Mandating full ingredient list labelling
  3. Mandating ‘ask the staff’ labels on all products, with supporting information for consumers available in writing
  4. Promoting best practice around communicating allergen information to consumers

What do you think?

You can take part in the consultation here. Responses are being collected until the 29th March 2019.

What else can you do?

Well, the various recent scandals involving customers being given inadequate information about allergens in freshly prepared food show two main failures. Staff training and good hygiene practices to avoid cross-contamination are key to regaining customer confidence.

We offer the following allergen training courses:

  • Awareness -E Learning
  • Awareness -Class Room
  • Level 2 -Class Room
  • Level 3 -Class Room

Here at Blue Cloud Training we offer several different types of allergen advice and support. This includes Allergen audits, preparing an allergen matrix and allergen staff training. Read more on our website.

We have clients from Birmingham to Leicester and our training courses can be held at your premises or at our training suite handily located in Derby. If you have six or more staff, it can be cost-effective to hold courses at your premises.

Or you can call us on 01332 898290 or 0121 3143381.

[ESPRESSO_REG_PAGE event_id=""]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *