More than five years after their daughter, Natasha, died aged 15 from an allergic reaction after eating a Pret a Manger baguette, Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse say she would be ‘proud’ a law in her name has finally come into effect.
Under Natasha’s Law, from October 1 all food retailers must display full ingredient and allergen labelling on every food item made on the premises and pre-packed for direct sale – including sandwiches, cakes and salads.
Natasha, from Fulham, died on July 17, 2016 after eating a Pret a Manger artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette which she did not know contained an ingredient she was severely allergic to, sesame seeds.
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Her parents said Natasha would be “very proud” of the new law.
Her father, Nadhim, said on Good Morning Britain: “This is D-Day for two million people who have waited all their allergic lives to be able to go out and buy a sandwich, a salad and finally actually know what is in it.”
Natasha’s mother, Tanya, said in a statement: “Natasha was always extremely careful to check the food labels and until that terrible day in 2016 hadn’t had a severe allergic reaction for over nine years.
“Nothing can bring Natasha back, and we have to live with that reality every day, but we know in our hearts that Natasha would be very proud that a new law in her name will help to protect others.
“Natasha was a very public-spirited young woman – she wanted to make a difference – so this feels like a fitting tribute to her.”
She added: “However, there is still so much more to do to support people with food allergies including the appointment of an Allergy Tsar, to act as a champion for people with allergies to ensure they receive correct and appropriate support including joined up health care to prevent avoidable deaths and ill health.”
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Natasha ate the Pret sandwich before boarding a flight at Heathrow airport with her father and best friend Bethany.
While on the flight to Nice, she suffered a severe allergic reaction. Despite her father administering two Epi-pens, Natasha suffered multiple cardiac arrests and died later that day at a French hospital.
After the coroner concluded in the inquest into her death in 2018 that Natasha wouldn’t have eaten the baguette if the seeds had been listed on the label, her parents began campaigning for a change in food labelling law and set up the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation.
Three years on, the law they campaigned for is finally in place.
Food Standards Agency chief executive Emily Miles said: “If these changes drive down the number of hospital admissions caused by food allergies, which have seen a threefold increase over the last 20 years, and prevent further tragic deaths such as Natasha’s, that can only be a positive thing.”
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