Following the previously reported allergen related deaths occurring as a consequence of poor labelling, especially the high-profile death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, Pret a Manger have taken a major step in addressing the issue and hired former Food Standards Agency boss Tim Smith. Mr Smith has been hired to review and oversee Pret’s allergen policies and procedures with the aim of bringing in “meaningful change”, as promised by the CEO of Pret. This new measure comes after the coroner involved in the case authored a letter to Michael Gove that accused Pret of not monitoring allergens seriously. With the environment secretary, Michael Gove, reviewing current regulations, and retailers responding to the allergen scandal, changes to allergen reporting looks to be definite.
The death of Miss Ednan-Laperouse was due to an exception to labelling laws that exists for freshly made foods, such as those sold by Pret, which many are now questioning. Pret seems keen to remain ahead of the support for removing this exception to the law by implementing their own company wide labelling and food separation requirements. The company will begin placing allergen warning stickers on all freshly made products alongside full ingredient information on both their website and in stores.