The parents of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who died from a severe allergic reaction after eating a baguette say ‘too many children and teenagers’ have died at the hands of a ‘failed system’.
The 15-year-old, from Fulham, west London, died in July 2016 after eating a baguette she was unaware contained hidden sesame seeds, and her parents Tanya and Nadim have successfully campaigned for a new law in their daughter’s name.
Natasha’s Law, which comes into force today, requires all food retailers to display full ingredient and allergen labelling on every food item made on the premises and pre-packed for direct sale.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain today, they introduced their latest petition aiming to implement an ‘allergy tsar’ to champion the appropriate support and health care for those who need it.
The parents of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse Tanya and Nadim (pictured) appeared on Good Morning Britain today where they said ‘too many children and teenagers’ have died at the hands of a ‘failed system’
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died from an allergic reaction after eating a baguette. Natasha’s Law, which comes into force today, requires all food retailers to display full ingredient and allergen labelling on every food item made on the premises and pre-packed for direct sale
‘We’ve been to too many inquests into the deaths of other children and teenagers in the UK where that system has failed them,’ said Nadim. ‘It’s shocking to see it goes on year after year.’
‘This is a real problem for society and it’s so important that businesses and other parts of society actually grapple with this and appreciate the real anxiety and trauma, everyday trauma that it an allergic life.
‘It’s really hard to live around food when you could die by just having a small amount of it by accident or by someone else error.’
Tanya added: ‘I think it feels like we’ve only really just started understanding allergies as a society. I think Natasha’s inquest sort of started that awareness and there are so many areas of society where dangers lurk.
Natasha’s parents, (pictured with sonAlex) who set up the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, campaigned for the change after the food labelling scandal was exposed at their daughter’s inquest in 2018
‘I think raising that awareness is so important, one of the really big areas we need to make changes is care after diagnosis, pre-diagnosis, there are many problems, many issues.’
Natasha’s parents, who set up the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, campaigned for the change after the food labelling scandal was exposed at their daughter’s inquest in 2018.
Speaking on ITV this morning, he said: ‘It’s always worth fighting for something that is important to you or to others and never to give up.
‘That spirit is in most people’s human nature, go with it and do not give up, because it will come through in the end – it’s just a case of when.’
Natasha went into anaphylactic shock within minutes of take off on a British Airways flight to France after buying a sandwich at a Pret-A-Manger branch in Heathrow airport.
Natasha (L-R) went into anaphylactic shock within minutes of take off on a British Airways flight to France after buying a sandwich at a Pret-A-Manger branch in Heathrow airport
The 15-year-old knew she was allergic to milk, eggs, banana, nuts and sesame seeds so along with her dad, Nadim, had checked the label carefully.
But the artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette contained sesame seeds that were baked into the dough and were not visible or listed in the ingredients.
She fell ill while in the air and despite efforts to give her adrenaline shots, she was unable to breathe and suffered a heart attack and later died in a French hospital on July 17, 2016.
Natasha, who lived in Fulham, west London, had been travelling to Nice with her father and best friend Bethany when tragedy struck.
Nadim, 56, administered two Epi-pens – which delivered potentially lifesaving adrenaline to his daughter as she struggled to breathe – but they did not work and she suffered multiple cardiac arrests.
Since her death Natasha’s parents – Nadim and mum Tanya – waged a tireless campaign to strengthen food labelling rules and better protect the estimated two million food allergy sufferers in Britain.
A loophole in the law meant Pret – and other firms like it – were not obliged to provide a full list of allergens on products made in their stores.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain today, Tanya and Nadim introduced their latest petition aiming to implement an ‘allergy tsar’ to champion for people with allergies and ensure they receive the appropriate support and health care
‘We’ve been to too many inquests into the deaths of other children and teenagers in the UK where that system has failed them’, Nadim told host Kate Garraway
Now from today, Natasha’s Law comes into force that will require more pre-packaged food like takeaway sandwiches, cakes and salads to have their full ingredients and allergy details listed on the item.
Changes ushered in by the law will apply to businesses selling their own pre-packaged food at other outlets they run – which will include market stalls and mobile food vans.
Under current legislation, food prepared on the premises in which it is sold is not required to display allergen information in writing.
As a result, there was no specific allergen information on the packaging of the baguette that caused Natasha’s fatal reaction.
Nadim added: ‘Natasha’s Law is vital to protect the 2 to 3 million people in the UK living with food allergies from life-threatening allergic reactions.
‘This change in the law brings greater transparency about the foods people are buying and eating; it will give people with food allergies confidence when they are buying pre-packaged food for direct sale such as sandwiches and salads.
‘Everyone should be able to consume food safely.’