Natasha’s Law will soon become a core focus of the Food Industry. As of October 2021 Businesses’ who sell food which is pre-packaged will now have to show two things. Firstly a list of ingredients used to create the food items and secondly a clear indication of any allergens said food items may contain, highlighted in bold text.
This change is huge in scale and will effect retailers, schools, hospitals, contract caterers, suppliers to name a few. In fact anybody who prepares food on site or for sale will have to abide to these new regulations. With only 6-months left to prepare it is crucial for all to understand these changes and how to prepare.
What are the Changes?
The Food Standards Agency have created a detailed guide to these new regulations which can be accessed here. There is an abbreviation that reoccurs throughout the documentation [PPDS] which stands for food ‘Pre Packed for Direct Sale’ as briefly mentioned above. This includes pre-packed sandwiches, salad boxes, fresh pizzas, cookies etc which are all made on site. This does not include; food packed on a customers request, food not in packaging or food supplied pre-packed to a school. This is due to the existing rule which lies with the suppliers.
Labels should be sufficiently visible and readable for those with visual impairments on all packaging and in a minimum font size outlined by the FSA. There are also fines for not complying with these new regulations with a maximum fine of £5000 per offence. However their is also the risk to human life alongside this which is way above any financial penalty or discipline.
It’s purpose is to close the significant gap in risk to life on food products. Stating clear and accurate allergens show needed ‘life-saving information’ with an estimated over two-million people suffering from a food related allergy in the UK alone in which ten-people die each year from food asphyxiation.
We will be continuing to publish further information on Natasha’s Law in the near future with our shared knowledge of the Food, Education and Healthcare sectors.