THE heartbroken family of a girl who died from an allergic reaction after eating a Pret sandwich say she would be “proud” as a law in her name came into force this week.
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who had a severe sesame allergy, passed away after eating a Pret a Manger baguette that was not labelled on a flight to Nice in France in 2016.
Natasha passed away after eating a Pret a Manger baguette that was not labelled[/caption]
And following years of tireless campaigning from her family, the government has now introduced Natasha’s Law, that requires all food business to include full ingredients labelling on pre-packaged food.
Her brother Alex said: “I think she would be really proud to be able to have her name in a law and she would just be smiling.
“We want to help prevent other families going through what me and my family went through.”
And Natasha’s dad, Nadim, added: “It’s extraordinarily significant really.
Natasha’s family have called the law in her name ‘extraordinarily significant’[/caption]
“We’re really pleased to say that – it means an awful lot to us but also a lot to us because it will mean so much to other people.
“We can never bring back our daughter but what we can do is do our best as a family to try and save other people’s lives so that nothing like this will happen again.
“I mean that is what we really hold on to and motivates us actually.”
Natasha, from Fulham, west London, suffered a severe allergic reaction after unknowingly eating sesame contained in an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette she had bought from a Pret A Manger at Heathrow Airport – before boarding a flight to Nice on July 17, 2016.
Her father desperately tried to save her life by giving her two EpiPen jabs on the plane before cabin staff and a recently qualified junior doctor on the plane gave her CPR for the remainder of the flight.
We can never bring back our daughter but what we can do is do our best as a family to try and save other people’s lives so that nothing like this will happen again
However, the 15-year-old later died of anaphylaxis in hospital in Nice – with her mother and brother saying goodbye to her in her last moments over the phone.
Despite Natasha’s Law being introduced, the family say more still needs to be done to raise the awareness of just how dangerous food allergies can be in the country.
Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Nadim added: “People who don’t have food allergies in this country have a misconception of just how dangerous it can be – it’s rather like being next to a cliff edge and falling off – it’s that dramatic.
“And so with people with allergies they fully understand how allergic they are because it’s a condition that affects them very much.
Natasha’s brother Alex said goodbye to Natasha over the phone in her final moments[/caption]
“But the safety of those people with allergies really rests with the education of people who do not have allergies and that’s certainly what we’re working on through Natasha’s charity and her foundation.
“It’s really important that people who don’t have allergies have an appreciation and a compassion for people who do have that disease and that condition and we’re working hard on that.”
Her mum Tanya also claimed more needs to be done to educate schools and restaurants about allergies.
She said: “There’s still so much to do. Some children from when they’re three-months old have got serious allergies so it’s really important that we educate schools, that we educate all parts of society – restaurants, everyone needs to be aware.
What is Natasha's Law?
Millions of allergy sufferers across the country will be protected by a new law laid in Parliament, requiring food businesses to include full ingredients labelling on pre-packed for direct sale foods.
Following the tragic death of Natasha, the government confirmed stronger laws would be implemented to protect those with allergies and give them greater confidence in the food they buy.
Currently, food prepared on the premises in which it is sold is not required to display allergen information on the label, meaning allergy sufferers sometimes lack confidence buying food to eat whilst they are out.
A Statutory Instrument has been laid in Parliament tightening the rules by requiring these foods to carry a full list of ingredients – known as ‘Natasha’s Law’.
Food Minister Zac Goldsmith said: “This is a significant moment for the millions of allergy sufferers in England and a fitting tribute to Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse’s tireless campaigning.
“The introduction of this law will make it easier for allergy sufferers to make clear, safe choices when buying food.”
Natasha’s Law’ will come into force in October 2021, giving businesses a transition period to prepare for the new rules.
The Food Standards Agency will publish information for industry on October 1 to help ensure that businesses of all sizes can prepare and adapt to these changes.
“I think the thing is no one has really taken it seriously up until recently.”
Natasha’s family are still struggling with her loss and admitted that the summer holidays are always a particularly difficult time for them.
Alex said: “This summer has been hard but during the summer me and my family have cherished so many memories together about her.
“Whenever we’re doing something she’s always there in our heads and we laugh about times we had together always.
Natasha’s mum says more needs to be done to educate schools and restaurants about allergies[/caption]
Natasha’s dad says he still struggles with the fact he couldn’t save his daughter[/caption]
“We had a very strong, close relationship. She was two and a half years older than me and I looked up to her and we had so many great holiday memories and memories ever since we were younger.”
And her mum said: “It comes down to memories and that’s how we are now – as a family and anyone that’s lost someone in your family that’s what you hold on to.
More on food allergies
“We lost Natasha on the first Sunday of the summer holidays – that’s the one time kids really look forward to, they break up from school, and then they’re hopefully going to do something really great with their families.
“Since that it’s been really difficult because we want to still give Alex that fun and the time to have a holiday but we’re also aware it’s the time when we lost Natasha and she’s not with us.
“I think it’s quite difficult for that reason.”
Her dad Nadim said he still struggles with the fact he couldn’t save his daughter, adding: “As a family and as parents you’ll do your upmost to protect your children, you’d die for your children and to think that such a thing could happen even with your best, best, best efforts that’s shocking.”
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