Natasha's family call for food law change after Owen Carey Inquest
The family of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the 15-year-old who died after eating an unlabelled sesame seed baguette, have called for full allergens information to be printed on restaurant menus.
Following the verdict in the inquest of Owen Carey, Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse commented: “Our hearts go out to Owen Carey’s family who will always carry their terrible grief knowing Owen’s death was so preventable.
“Having attended the inquest over the last two days, we have heard remarkable parallels between Owen and Natasha’s death. Both died because of the failure of food providers to list allergens, - in Natasha’s case in pre-packaged food, in Owen’s on restaurant menus. Owen’s death yet again highlights the inadequacy of food information in this country.
“With around eight per cent of children in this country now having allergies, we are facing an epidemic. The food industry should be leading the charge for better information for its millions of customers with allergies, not hiding - as has Byron Burgers - behind corporate legalspeak of being ‘industry standard’ or ‘meeting our legal obligation’. Customers with allergies, who are guests of their hospitality, deserve so much better.
“This verdict is a landmark judgement for millions of allergy sufferers in this country and another clear statement to the food industry that things cannot go on as they are.
“We fully support the calls for food laws to change and for allergen labelling to be clearly available on menus, for all serving staff to raise allergen concerns with customers, and for the industry to draw up new standards of training.
“It is obvious that the Food Information Regulations 2014 are out-of-date. While we wait for the Coroner’s final Prevention of Deaths report, and the necessary law change, we are calling on restaurants to implement full allergen menus before other lives are needlessly lost.
“Finally, we strongly welcome the Coroner's call for a national register of deaths by anaphylaxis so that all the relevant authorities are fully aware of the full number of fatal incidents, which we currently believe are under-reported.”