Theresa May has said that the government will review food labelling laws. This is following the death of a teenager caused by an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger sandwich.
The sandwich was purchased from a Pret a Manger store at Heathrow Airport in 2016. Though the teenager was reassured by the lack of specific allergen information on the label, this information was inaccurate.
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died following an allergic reaction to the sesame contained in the sandwich. The sandwich’s label did not have any specific allergen information attached.
As a result, the government will enquire into the food labelling responsibilities food outlets have.
Food labelling laws will be revised in order to protect consumers from danger in the future.
The prime minister told the BBC:
“We have obviously to look at this issue, we have to look at the responsibility of individual companies as well.”
As the law currently stands, any food packaged on-site prior to being sold by a company does not require a specific allergen label attached. Laws such as the current food labelling law are intended to help small businesses, but they also apply to larger outlets such as Pret a Manger.
The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, has told civil servants to investigate further into changing the laws. However, he has not provided a time frame for the new law.
Michael Gove additionally said that the current loophole in the law “needs to be addressed”.
“We need to look at the whole suit of protections that we give people in order to ensure that all of us can feel safe when buying food, and that our children are safe as well… to ensure that we’ve got safe food that everyone should have a right to.”
Last week, Pret a Manger was sued in the US over inaccurate food labelling. The food chain had labelled bread as “natural” though they contained pesticides.
This lawsuit also follows the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse.