The parents of a girl who died after having an allergic reaction to sesame in a pre-packaged sandwich have said their daughter would be “extremely excited” by the introduction of a new law to protect others.
Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse have campaigned for major changes to the way food is labelled at cafes, stores and supermarkets across the country since their daughter Natasha, who was 15, died in 2016.
She died after suffering a severe reaction to sesame on a flight between London and Nice, having not known that the se were an ingredient in the Pret a Manger artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette she had bought from Heathrow Airport.
Her parents said the new law – which the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says will require all food businesses to clearly label the full ingredients of pre-packaged food from next summer – would save lives.
Mr Ednan-Laperouse told Sky News: “It’s brilliant news, we’re elated, it is phenomenal news not just for us, but the millions of people in this country who have food allergies. It’s a real fantastic result.”
‘I had to say last goodbye to my sister on the phone’
“If you see a label, it’s not one rule in one shop and one in another, people can look at what’s written on that label and make an informed decision on whether it’s safe for them to eat.”
The baguette was bought from Pret a Manger at Heathrow
Under current rules, food that is prepared and sold on the same premises is not required to display allergen information on its packaging.
She said: “There was so little hope – there was no research and very little information and she felt like she was a bit on her own, so she would have been extremely excited by this.”
The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation aims to set up a centre of excellence at Southampton University to further develop research into food allergies, and the Duchess of York has signed up to be a patron.
Sarah Ferguson – who met Natasha’s grieving parents on the flight they took to bring her body home – told Sky News: “It is seriously shocking that it has taken Natasha not to be here to talk for herself (for the law to be changed), but we are talking for her.
“It is a dramatic day in the course of history for families and communities out there – now they have hope.”