With one year to go until Natasha's law, the Food Standards Agency have urged foodservice businesses to prepare in advance for the change in legislation. Coming into full effect in October 2021, Natasha's law aims to make food labelling clearer, more consistent and safer for those living with food allergies.
Food labelling can be a matter of life or death. On average, ten people die a year in Britain due to food-induced anaphylaxis. In addition to this, it is believed that a significant number of asthma-related deaths could also have been triggered by food allergies.
In a recent press release, Food Minister Zac Goldmsith explained that “the new law will mean more choice and better protection for the millions of people – our families, friends, colleagues and neighbours across the UK – who have food allergies.”
This blog will discuss how Natasha’s law will change the way that you provide ingredient and allergen information on and off pack, as well as discussing what tools are available to help you do so.
Understanding the 14 Allergens
There are 14 main ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction in people who consume them. Under Natasha’s law, these allergens will need to be highlighted on food and drink labels in bold. These are:
- Cereals containing gluten
- Sesame seeds
- Sulphur Dioxide
Requirements for prepacked food
Prepacked food refers to foods that are packaged before being placed on sale. Often cooked and packed on a different site and then transported to the location of where it is sold i.e foods found in supermarkets.
Prepacked foods much have full ingredients information with allergens highlighted in bold.
Requirements for prepacked food for direct sale
Prepacked foods for direct sale refers to any foods that
have been packed on the same premises from which they are being sold.
Natasha’s law will require that any food and drink prepacked for direct sale include full ingredient information with allergens highlighted in bold. After been given two years to adapt, it will be mandatory that all British businesses implement the changes by October 2021.
Creating allergen labels can be a simple and straightforward process when using the right tools and software. LabelLogic Live supports users to create attractive, compliant labels at the click of a button.
Its inclusion of features such as Recipe Builder and Auto-Allergen functions allow users to input data at ease and then automatically generates allergens and nutritional information.
Requirements for non-prepacked food and drink
Non-prepacked food refers to any food that is sold without packaging, such as loose fruit and vegetables, and food packed on site upon the request of the customer.
Sellers of non-prepacked food need to provide allergen information if any of the 14 allergens are present in the food. However, are not required to provide a full ingredients list.
Recent technical guidance for the upcoming legislation was released in June 2020 that provides full information about both Prepacked and non-prepacked food labelling.
Communicating with clarity
By Failing to communicate allergens correctly, businesses are risking the lives of customers with allergies. This is why it’s so important that information provided is easy to read and outlined in a simple and clear way.
Ensuring that food isn’t contaminated both in the front and back of house, all staff handling and selling food should be aware of allergens. Contamination can be avoided by ensuring that you know your kitchen processes and the method to safely prepare food inside and out. Training is vital. The government provide free food allergy and intolerance online training. You can access it here.
For those uncertain about whether your products are classed as prepacked goods, use this Allergen and ingredients labelling decision tool to help identify what labelling requirements you need to meet.
Get in touch
If you need advice about how you can make your business safer for people with allergies or want to talk in more depth about Natasha’s law, our expert team can help. You can get in touch today by calling 0117 317 8600 or emailing us at email@example.com