To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 20 April 2021 to Question 179265 on Catering: Regulation, whether his Department plans to bring forward legislative proposals on allergen labelling in restaurant menus, similar to regulations on pre-packaged food under Natasha's law.
The Food Information (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2019 No 1218 (known as ‘Natasha’s Law’) comes into force on 1 October this year.
These Regulations were consulted on widely and a range of options considered. The option that was decided upon provides a higher level of protection for people living with food hypersensitivity. The amendment Regulations mean that food known as ‘prepacked for direct sale’ food must be labelled with the name of the food and a full ingredients list, with allergens emphasised, from 1 October 2021.
The Government has no plans at present to extend these regulations to cover mandatory ingredient labelling on restaurant menus. The Food Standards Agency, which leads on policy on food safety including food allergies, is open to understanding what is possible and practical in this area although any proposed changes will need to be evidence driven.
All businesses supplying food, whether prepacked, prepacked for direct sale or sold loose, must be able to provide accurate information on allergens to customers.
The Government has committed to review food labelling. This will include careful consideration of how food labelling might contribute to the outcomes of the National Food Strategy, which is looking in detail at creating a better food system.