Lynne Regent, CEO of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, spoke to BBC Breakfast about the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs consultation on the proposed amendments to the domestic Food Information Regulations 2014 (FIR) (England) and parallel FIR regulations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Lynne spoke about the options available and the changes we would like to see made.

This review of allergen labelling legislation follows the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who died after eating a baguette from Pret a Manger at Heathrow airport in July 2016. The coroner who presided over the inquest of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse concluded that the current legislation is not adequate and requested a review. The Anaphylaxis Campaign would like to say how fantastic Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse have been in raising the issues around food safety for all individuals with food allergy at this very difficult time for them personally.

The Anaphylaxis Campaign believes that food allergic individuals must be able to make informed decisions and to assess risk and self-manage their condition when eating out. We welcome the government’s consultation as a way of understanding the views of all stakeholders and arriving at the best approach for all stakeholders and, in particular, those who suffer with food allergies.

We hope all food business that sell food pre-packed for direct sale engage with this consultation to ensure that feasibility across all business sizes is taken into consideration. We also hope food allergic individuals actively take part in this consultation and share their views on how they want this incredibly important information shared with them.

What is the current legislation for a food business that makes and sells food on the same site?

At present when a food business sells prepacked food for direct sale the same regulations apply as to non-prepacked food under the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation No. 1169/2011 commonly known as EU FIR 2014. This means food business preparing their products freshly on their premises are exempted from the obligation of labelling them with a list of ingredients including the provision of allergen information. This is because it is expected that the customer is able to speak with the person who made or packed the product to ask about ingredients. All mandatory allergen ingredients information (the 14) should be available and easily accessible for the consumer and this can be communicated through a variety of means to suit the business format of the food business operator.

What are the proposed options put forward in this consultation?

Policy option 1 – Promote best practice

Policy option 2 – Mandate “ask the staff” labels on packaging of food prepacked for direct sale, with supporting information for consumers in writing

Policy option 3 – Mandate name of the food and allergen labelling on packaging of food prepacked for direct sale

Policy option 4 – Mandate name of the food and full ingredient list labelling, with allergens emphasised, on packaging of food prepacked for direct sale

How to respond to the consultation

Please, first view and consider the consultation document, which explains the current legislation, the scope of the consultation and explains in detail the four different policy options. The document can be accessed here

Then provide your responses to the questions via an online survey, which can be accessed here

If you cannot respond online, you can request a copy of the survey and a response form by e-mailing allergenlabellingreview@defra.gsi.gov.uk. Queries and completed surveys can also be sent here.

Please respond by 29 March 2019

If you have any enquires, please contact our helpline on: 01252 542029 or info@anaphylaxis.org.uk

https://www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/2019/03/26/bbc-breakfast-lynne-regent-talks-about-the-food-labelling-consultation-which-closes-on-the-29th-march-2019/