In July 2016, Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died after eating a baguette containing sesame seeds, to which she was heavily allergic. She went into anaphylactic shock within minutes of taking off on a British Airways flight to France after purchasing a sandwich at a Pret-A-Manger branch in Heathrow Airport.
'Natasha's Law is about saving lives'
During their daughter's inquest in 2018, it was revealed that a food labelling mistake was the reason the sesame seeds went undetected, ultimately costing Ednan-Laperouse's life.
The new allergy law—Natasha's Law—will, as of today, require all food retailers to clearly display full ingredient and allergen labelling on all food items made on the premises and pre-packed for direct sale. Her parents, who set up the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, explain that:
Natasha’s Law is about saving lives and marks a major milestone in our campaign to support people with food allergies. Nothing can bring Natasha back but we know she would be very proud a new law in her name will help others.
Food allergy sufferers in the UK
Since the death of their daughter, her parents have been fighting constantly to impose strict food labelling rules to better protect the estimated two million people who suffer from food allergies in the UK alone. Mr Ednan-Laperouse said:
Natasha’s Law is vital to protect the 2 to 3 million people in the UK living with food allergies from life-threatening allergic reactions.
This change in the law brings greater transparency about the foods people are buying and eating; it will give people with food allergies confidence when they are buying pre-packaged food for direct sale such as sandwiches and salads. Everyone should be able to consume food safely.