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FSA consults on updated guidance following change to allergen labelling law

The FSA has published a consultation on updates to its existing technical guidance to reflect changes to food allergen labelling legislation in England which comes into effect on 1 October 2021.

The legislative changes were introduced by the Government in September 2019 after a UK-wide consultation following the death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse. Natasha died as a result of an allergic reaction to sesame in a baguette she had eaten. These changes are supported by Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and those nations are working towards introducing similar requirements.

From 1 October 2021, food which is packaged on-site before a customer selects or orders it, will be required to have an ingredients list with the allergens emphasised on it. This change means that allergen information will be found on more packaged foods, providing allergen information in the way consumers who responded to the UK-wide consultation asked for.

The FSA is now consulting on updates to its existing technical guidance to reflect the legislative changes. These updates will help businesses and enforcement authorities understand the new requirements, as well as support businesses as they work towards implementing them by October 2021.

Stakeholders in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are invited to respond to the six-week consultation as the guidance is expected to cover all three nations. In Scotland, relevant guidance will be produced by Food Standards Scotland.

Food Standards Agency Chief Executive, Emily Miles said,'Consistent and accurate labelling can be life-saving for those living with a food allergy or hypersensitivity. This short consultation on updates to our Technical Guidance on food allergen labelling is an important next step in the process to ensure that food businesses and enforcement authorities are ready for October 2021.'