Plans to replace 'outdated' food safety laws in Jersey

Incorrect or misleading labels on food products and menus could soon lead to a two-year prison sentence in Jersey.

The island's Environment Minister has lodged a proposition to update the food safety law, to replace the current 1966 legislation.

Deputy Jonathan Renouf's proposition says the current law is "outdated and not fit for purpose in the 21st century", it also makes reference to changes in food technology and the risk of disease.

"Changes in food technology such as microwaves, blast chillers and sous vide, along with changes in production and storage techniques, require a Law which is up to date and which can be updated as required.

"Newly emerging pathogens, genetic modifications of food and changing animal husbandry can have an effect on food products and may require regulation."

The report highlights the increasing interest by the public to know what they are consuming and the demand for regulation of labelling which details specific allergens or for ingredients such as palm oil.

Changes to the legislation would bring the island closer in line with the United Kingdom, which introduced "Natasha's Law" in 2021.

The creation of the law followed the death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret A-Manger baguette.

“Natasha’s Law” requires all food businesses to include full ingredients labelling on pre-packaged food. The legislation came into force in England and Northern Ireland in 2021.

In 2019 Jersey's then Environment Minister began a review of the law, however, it was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.Deputy Renouf's proposition is due to be debated in the States Assembly on 13 December 2022.

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