Are your food allergy procedures sufficient?

Nuts and seedsSince 2014 the law regarding how food allergens are labelled and declared has been significantly tightened. The law applies to out of school clubs in the same way as it does to a restaurant, a hospital or a supermarket: you must be aware of the allergen content of every food and drink you serve, and you must declare this visibly within the club.

The recent news coverage of the inquest into the sad death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse following an allergic reaction to sesame, is a stark reminder to all out of school clubs to check their food allergy procedures.

Natasha had a long standing sesame allergy which she was used to managing; she was 15 when she bought the sandwich from the Pret store at Heathrow Airport. Her family claim there was labelling on her sandwich, but that it did not state it contained sesame.  Within minutes of boarding her flight Natasha was in full anaphylaxis, and despite the best efforts of her family and the airline crew, she later died.

The lawyers at the inquest are focussing primarily on the procedures and practices of Pret a Manger regarding their labelling and declarations about the allergens. If they are found to be inadequate, Pret A Manger and the individual members of their staff involved with this incident could all face criminal prosecution.  In 2017 the owners of an Indian takeaway restaurant were convicted of manslaughter and imprisoned, after a man was served food which was incorrectly labelled as being free from ingredients he was allergic to. The courts are ensuring that the food allergen labelling law is being enforced.

Even if you only serve snacks and drinks in your club, the law around food allergen labelling applies to you - so take action now to make sure that you are allergy safe.

Managing food allergies and labelling food allergens at your club isn’t something you need to be scared of. See the following articles for more help and guidance about safely serving food at your club:

Food allergen labelling
Allergy boards
Serving food at your club

Or if you want more support and help with managing food allergies, contact specialist Childcare Dietitian, Nigel Denby at

Posted by: Nigel Denby
Date: 26 September 2018

Nigel DenbyThis guest blog is by Nigel Denby RD, BSc Hons. Nigel Denby is a registered dietitian who has been supporting childcare providers for over 15 years. He has worked with individual childminders, out of school clubs, nurseries, children’s centres and local authorities to develop nutrition policies, resources and training programmes for staff. He is passionate about helping children to enjoy a healthy, happy relationship with food. Nigel is a huge champion of childcare providers.

Contact Nigel: