The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched a six-week consultation on the implementation of upcoming allergen labelling legislation.

From 1 October 2021, food that is packaged on-site before a consumer selects or orders it will be required to have an ingredients list with the allergens emphasised on it. The FSA is now consulting on updates to its existing technical guidance to help businesses and enforcement authorities as they work towards implementing them ahead of the deadline.

Stakeholders in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are invited to respond as the guidance is expected to cover all three nations. Guidance for Scotland will be produced by Food Standards Scotland.

“Consistent and accurate labelling can be life-saving for those living with a food allergy or hypersensitivity. This short consultation on updates to our Technical Guidance on food allergen labelling is an important next step in the process to ensure that food businesses and enforcement authorities are ready for October 2021,” said FSA chief executive Emily Miles.

The legislative changes were introduced by the government in September 2019 after a UK-wide consultation following the death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse. She died after eating a Pret A Manger baguette that contained sesame, to which she was allergic.

However, some trade bodies raised concerns about its impact. The British Sandwich Association, for example, said it could lead to a greater risk to consumers due to cross-contamination. UK Hospitality, meanwhile, branded the law a “retrograde step”.

To view the consultation and supporting documents, click here.