‘Natasha’s Law’ – a group response

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Earlier this year, the Food Standards Agency and Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) announced a public consultation on proposed changes to the allergen labelling laws in the wake of the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse. Printed below is a group response submitted to that consultation and signed by more than 200 members of the allergy community.

A little background: the consultation relates only to so-called ‘PPDS’ establishments – Pre-Packed for Direct Sale. This doesn’t have a completely clear-cut definition but basically means anywhere that makes and packages items ready for sale on the premises.

That includes sandwiches packed on-site and taken by the consumer from a chiller cabinet; salads displayed in deli boxes behind a counter and bought to take away by the consumer; takeaway items collected by the consumer if displayed in packaging on-site (e.g. chicken in a box; wrapped burgers). This may also include supermarket foods such as deli counter boxed salads, weighed and packaged cheeses; fresh (uncooked) pizzas from the deli counter; baked goods from a bakery counter.

It doesn’t include foods that are ordered by the customer, prepared freshly and then wrapped or packaged to be taken away; or foods that are prepared in advance of a rush, displayed on the counter but not wrapped until they are bought by the consumer (e.g. a pile of filled bagels in a cafe).

Anyway, here goes (warning: it’s long)… *deep breath*:

Allergen Labelling Review Team
Defra
Room 202, Zone 2
1-2 Peasholme Green
York
YO1 7PX                                                                                                28 March 2019

Group Response to Allergen Labelling Review

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing as the informal representative of a group of 208 individuals who have come together under the banner of the Twitter allergy community @allergyhour to respond collectively to the DEFRA Allergen Labelling Review.

Continue reading “‘Natasha’s Law’ – a group response”

The new allergy regulations – FAQs & the chance to ask an expert

EVERY THURSDAY evening, from 8.30 to 9.30pm, we run an Allergy Hour (#allergyhour) on Twitter – a forum for allergy people and parents to ask questions, rant, rave, swap tips, share recipes. Last night the folks at the Anaphylaxis Campaign kindly offered up one of their experts to answer specific questions on the new EU allergen labelling laws. Today they’ve put together a handy FAQ guide to deal with some of the issues that came up. See here for more. It covers everything from how the laws will be enforced to where businesses can get advice. Continue reading “The new allergy regulations – FAQs & the chance to ask an expert”

A response from the Food Standards Agency…

SORRY IT’S taken me a while to post this – here’s the response I received from the FSA on my allergen labelling gripes. I’ve highlighted a few bits in bold but, in short, I think our next step is to write directly to the European Commission. Sigh. And all I wanted to do was buy a few bits in Sainsbury’s…

Continue reading “A response from the Food Standards Agency…”

Is no reason good reason? More on allergy labelling

Allergy labelling: make it clear

SO, THE ANAPHYLAXIS Campaign has sent a speedy and detailed response to my email – big thanks to them. Still waiting for the FSA, mind.

Anyway, the Campaign has outlined the reasons for the labelling changes we’re so het up about and it looks like the issues causing most concern (removal of the ‘contains allergen’ box, not standardising the way allergens are highlighted in the ingredients list and the banning of the word ‘gluten’) are actually by-products of the legislation.

In other words, they came about because the legislation is concerned with many labelling issues (including nutrition, country of origin and date marking), and no-one gave much thought to the impact the clauses would have on allergy information.

Continue reading “Is no reason good reason? More on allergy labelling”

An email to the Food Standards Agency

groceryfail
The weekly shop + food allergy = how it feels

FOLLOWING MY blog posts on the issue and countless angry Tweets the FSA has asked me to email my concerns about the new food labelling legislation to them directly. So I have. The letter’s below.

I feel very strongly about this and am considering launching a petition to have this legislation amended. If you have concerns, too, please let the FSA know (email at the bottom of this post).

Continue reading “An email to the Food Standards Agency”