Government to look at food labelling laws after teen’s death, says Theresa May

Prime Minister Theresa May has said the Government will look at companies' responsibilities in relation to food labelling, following the death of a teenager who suffered an allergic reaction to a Pret A Manger sandwich.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said on Monday he had instructed civil servants to investigate a law change after 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse's death highlighted the "importance of acting urgently".

Natasha, from Fulham, south-west London, collapsed on board a flight in July 2016 after eating an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette she had bought at Heathrow Airport.

The coroner at her inquest last week said she died of anaphylaxis after eating the Pret sandwich containing sesame, which she was allergic to.

Asked whether the Government would bring in a "Natasha's law" to try to prevent further deaths of this kind, Mrs May told BBC1's Breakfast: "Obviously, this was an absolutely tragic case and our thoughts are with her family and friends over what happened.

"We have obviously to look at this issue, we have to look at the responsibility of individual companies as well.

"This is something that has been an absolute tragedy and our sympathies and condolences are with her family and friends."

Natasha's father Nadim said she died because of "inadequate food labelling laws", and joined the rest of her family in calling for a change in the law to save lives.

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse family
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse family

Mr Gove said the family was "absolutely right" to say the law needs to be changed, and added: "I think their case is compelling and we need to act quickly in order to ensure that we have the best possible protection in place."

Currently, non-prepackaged foods do not have to a have a specific allergen label attached.