Industry leader labels Natasha’s Law a very welcome move


One of the UK’s leading food and beverage procurement specialists has welcomed the introduction of potentially life-saving new food labelling legislation.

Last October the Regency Purchasing Group called for the current rules to be revised following two tragic deaths attributed to allergic reactions.

The new law, which will come into force by summer 2021, will force food businesses to include full ingredients labelling on all pre-packaged products.

The legislation is known as Natasha’s Law in memory of 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died after eating a Pret a Manger baguette which she bought at Heathrow Airport in July 2016 before flying to Nice.

Last year, an inquest into her death concluded that sesame, which she was allergic to, was not listed as an ingredient on the label.

Following that inquest, news emerged of the death of a 42-year-old mother-of-eight from a suspected allergic reaction after eating a flatbread product from a Pret a Manger outlet in Bath.

The Regency Group said it wanted to see the provision of clear and concise allergen labelling become compulsory in all circumstances.

Regency’s Managing Director Alex Demetriou welcomed news of Natasha’s Law being introduced.

He said:

“The current law is flawed because it doesn’t differentiate between sandwiches and other items made to order in front of the customer and food which is freshly made on the premises, but behind the scenes, then packaged up and then put on shelves for the customer to pick up and take away.

“The current law means these items do not have to display allergen information on packaging.

“However, because they appear to be pre-packaged, and people with allergies assume that items not freshly made in front of them would have a label on them if allergens were present.

“At the inquest into Natasha’s death, the Coroner said she had been ‘reassured’ by the lack of allergen information on the packaging of the product she bought, so she assumed it was safe for her eat.

“The new law means that food pre-packaged for direct sale on premises must include a full list of ingredients.”

Regency is different to most other procurement groups in that it operates its own businesses within the sector, so has practical, hands-on, experience of industry issues.

Mr Demetriou is also a Director of the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare, one of the South West’s top tourist attractions.

He said:

“At the Grand Pier, we have already implemented clear allergen labelling for all the sandwiches and panini’s that are made on-site.

“While there is a two-year implementation period before Natasha’s Law becomes legislation, we wanted to implement this immediately. It is not a difficult implementation and we are all duty bound to reduce the risk of any further tragic deaths caused by a preventable lack of proper information.

“The food and beverage sector should be fully committed to clearly labelling all allergens, removing any doubt.

“When we undertake procurement audits, we often see people occasionally or, more worryingly, regularly, buying from supermarkets when they have run out of something.

“All the while, when substituting a product, the allergen information is not always updated.

“We, through our supply chain, ensure that all allergen data is available, and we are in the process of developing systems to ensure all this information is available via electronic tablet, so that it is instantly available.

“If anyone would like to find out more about what is required to implement this legislation, we would be very happy to assist.”

You can contact the Regency Group by calling 01934 646 135 or email

The Regency Group works with more than 2,700 leisure businesses throughout the UK, including some of Britain’s biggest and best-known attractions, hundreds of golf clubs, plus pubs, hotels, zoos, farm attractions and many others.