Product recalls down 10% thanks to Natasha’s Law

The number of products recalled over undeclared allergens has fallen 10 per cent in a year after the death of a teenage girl.

According to law firm RPC, 79 foods were recalled between 2020 and 2021, down nine from the previous year.

It suggested the dip could be the result of increased industry awareness following the introduction of “Natasha’s Law”.

The legislation, which came into effect this month after a two-year notice period, means that businesses must list any allergens in the food they prepare.

READ MORE: Natasha’s Law to protect allergy sufferers after teenage death

It is named after Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, a 15 year-old girl who died after an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette.

The label did not mention that the sandwich contained sesame.

The Food Standards Agency said the number of recalls could have been pushed down by the limited number of food businesses operating during lockdown.

However, the proportion of products recalled for undeclared milk has increased by 10 per cent in three years.

In severe reactions, this can cause rashes, breathing difficulties and anaphylactic shock.

Tesco and Asda were forced to remove dairy-free products from shelves in May after it emerged they could contain traces of milk.

“Death by ice cream cone negligence is not how I want my life to end,” complained one shopper, referring to a Tesco product.

RPC legal director Mamata Dutta said: “Manufacturers have clearly taken on board the risks associated with failing to label allergens on food correctly. 

“The drop in number of recalls suggests manufacturers have made improvements in this area. 

“Although Natasha’s Law has only just come into force […] many businesses have been adopting the requirements as best practice for some time now.”

Although retailers were given two years to prepare for Natasha’s Law, a poll from August showed eight in ten were still not ready.

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