Environment Secretary Michael Gove has reiterated his commitment to change the law around allergen labelling after this week speaking to allergy groups and food businesses, including Pret A Manger.
On Monday the Environment Secretary and Food Minister David Rutley held a productive roundtable meeting with allergy groups, specialists and industry stakeholders to discuss options for the introduction of revised allergen labelling laws. Attendees included Allergy UK, the British Retail Consortium, the British Sandwich and Food to Go Association as well as academics and clinicians.
In a separate meeting with Pret executives today, the Secretary of State challenged them on their previous shortcomings and the action they are now taking to keep consumers safe.
Moves to review allergen labelling follow the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the teenager who died after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret baguette. Last month the Secretary of State met Natasha’s parents to discuss their campaign to ensure consumers are given more information about allergens in the food they purchase.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:
Natasha’s parents have suffered a terrible loss and I am committed to doing everything we can to avoid similar tragedies in future.
Our review of allergen labelling rules is progressing well and we are on track to bring forward proposals to change the law around the turn of the year. This week I heard the views of a number of organisations and individuals with knowledge in this area and today I challenged Pret A Manger on their past record and future plans.
As we have made clear before, businesses do not need to wait for the law to change to do the right thing. They should be doing all they can now to make sure consumers have the information they need to stay safe.
Separately, the Secretary of State has responded to the Coroner’s report into Natasha’s death addressing the issues relating to Defra.
Full attendance list for Monday’s Allergen Labelling Roundtable:
- Allergy Action
- Anaphylaxis Campaign
- Coeliac UK
- British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology
- Graham Roberts, University of Southampton
- Allergy UK
- British Retail Consortium
- British Sandwich & Food to Go Association
- Food and Drink Federation
- UK Hospitality