Operation in force to check compliance with Natasha’s Law

Dudley Council’s environmental health team is carrying out an operation to check businesses are complying with food labelling rules known as Natasha’s Law.

Natasha’s Law was introduced in October this year following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who suffered an allergic reaction to a baguette she had bought.

Under the new law, the requirements of food labelling for pre-packed food for direct sale have changed to protect consumers by providing potentially life-saving allergen information on the food packaging. 

Dudley environmental health officers will be visiting businesses across the borough over the next two weeks to check they are complying with the new rules. They will check whether food items packaged at the same place they are offered for sale are labelled correctly with the name of the food and an accurate ingredients list with the 14 allergens required to be declared by law highlighted.

These include nuts, sesame, celery, gluten, molluscs, eggs, fish and milk.

The new law applies to food that consumers select themselves, for example from a display unit, as well as products kept behind a counter. It applies to any business producing PPDS food, including coffee shops, restaurants, bakers, butchers, mobile sellers, temporary outlets, hot food takeaways, cafés and pubs.

Food items include pre-packed sandwiches or salad boxes, wrapped cobs on a bar, pies in packaging, packaged burgers, sauces already in pots, prawn crackers in bags, cartons of chips or chicken nuggets in packaging and placed under a hot lamp and meat put into packaging on the premises before a consumer orders it. Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:

"It is really important businesses comply with Natasha’s law to prevent any further tragedies. This is a Dudley Council initiative to check for compliance locally but also to advise and support businesses as they make the necessary changes.

"We will carry out follow up visits if necessary and if businesses continue to fail to comply, we will take action. People can also report any business to us if they think they are failing to follow the law."

Businesses in breach of Natasha’s Law could face prosecution resulting in a fine and adverse publicity. You can contact the environmental health team via Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345. 

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