Are you ready for Natasha’s Law?

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What is Natasha's law?

Following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret-a-Manger baguette in 2016, the government has made Natasha's Law compulsory from 1 October 2021 for all food businesses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  This requires all businesses to provide a full ingredient list and allergen labelling on foods prepared for direct sales on their premises.

Formally known as The UK Food Information Amendment, this new legislation was campaigned for by the Ednan-Laperouse family who wanted to ensure that by providing comprehensive allergen information, customers would have full confidence in what they are eating and what allergens are present in each pre-made product, ultimately protecting allergy sufferers from any adverse reactions to the food they buy and consume.

What is needed?

All foods that are pre-packaged for direct sale (PPDS) from October 1st 2021 must have the following on their packaging:

  • The name/description of the food
  • Full ingredients list with highlighted allergens
  • All allergens that are present - this can be either Bold, highlighted, underlined, in a different colour, in italics or CAPITALS for ease of identification

How does it affect you? What is PPDS?

This law will apply to all food business where the food is packed before being offered for sale to the final customer/consumer.  This includes packing the goods on the same premises/site, or other premises such as at an event, temporary premises i.e. marquee, market stall or mobile vehicle.

In short, PPDS food includes food that is in its packaging before it is ordered or selected by the customer, as well as food that customers select themselves, for example from a display cabinet.

PPDS food does not include any food that is sold not in packaging, or is packaged once a customer has placed their order.  This type of non-prepacked food does not require a label with all of the key allergen information highlighted, however this information must still be made available and provided to the customer, although this can be done orally.

Here are some examples of PPDS food:

  • Sandwiches and bakery-type foods which are packaged up on your premised before a customer orders them
  • Hot food packed before it is ordered, such as a burger under a hot lamp, which cannot be altered unless the packaging is opened up
  • Other products which are packaged on site for immediate sale, such as pasta pots, salads, meats and rotisserie items
  • Pre-packed raw meat such as burgers and sausages sold by a butcher
  • Complimentary cookies for customers which have been packaged up on site
  • Foods packaged and sold elsewhere but by the same operator e.g. at an event, market stall or mobile vehicle

As the business owner, it is your responsibility to review your current food offering and to know exactly what items need a PPDS compliant label.  We cannot stress enough the importance of getting this right. Not complying with the new legislations will result in fines as well as potentially leading to a criminal offence.

As your wholesaler, we are here to help with a full labelling solution on the items you purchase from Thomas Ridley.  Our easy-to-use software highlights ingredients and their allergens as well as providing an area to add logos and product descriptions.  All you need to do is ensure you’ve correctly recorded the ingredients and simply print out your labels.

What’s next?

Natasha’s Law comes into effect on 1st October 2021.  Now is the time to speak to your Thomas Ridley territory manager and start thinking about how you will implement this change within your business.

As well as being clear on how you will be legally compliant with PPDS labelling, you’ll also need to consider the following challenges:

  • Out of stock means a substitute product is sent - a new label MUST be provided due to different ingredients from a change in item. Also supplier ingredients on a product may change which would mean pre-printed labels are wasted as you need to print new ones
  • Any technology breakdowns. Label supplies run out.  Pre-printed labels may require changes if something is removed/added in at the last minute
  • All staff will need initial and ongoing training to be fully up to speed. Risk Assessment need to be completed.  You will need to police any new policy changes via government to ensure your teams are up to speed in what information they are providing

Thomas Ridley will be sharing updates and further information on our labelling solution. To find out more and FAQs, click here.

As your foodservice provider we can help and support you with this change to our industry.

Written by Thomas Ridley FoodService
Thomas Ridley FoodService
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