What are the current food labelling laws in the UK? It will now be necessary for all pre-prepared foods on site to be labelled with their complete ingredients and allergens, as other pre-packaged foods already do. Feedback from industry partners over the past few months has shown that more practical information is needed on how PPDS foods should be labelled. That`s why we`ve released new labelling guidelines for businesses affected by allergen labelling requirements to help them better understand how to label their PPDS foods. The guide answers many questions, such as: What information should appear on a food label, how a food label is presented, how a food label is created, and what legal requirements apply to food labeling. The guidelines also address the Allergy Precautionary Label (ASF), which often appears as “may contain” or “not suitable” for the information on the package. The webinars provide the audience with practical information as they prepare for upcoming changes to allergen labelling, and feature a number of speakers who can discuss these changes and answer your questions. More information on how to register for these webinars will be provided soon, so be sure to follow the FSA`s social media accounts for updates. The business webinar will be recorded and then made available on our website to ensure that those who are unable to attend the live events can watch at another time. All employees should be allergen aware and there should be a cooking culture of allergen checking in the products they use. Often, ingredients can run out or be replaced by suppliers.
In cases where other ingredients are used, kitchen staff should review the new product composition, and all labels should be carefully reviewed and updated as necessary. All employees should be informed of the changes and, if necessary, customers should also be notified. These must comply with the legal requirements that apply to the food name and the list of ingredients. Takeaway should be clearly marked so that customers know which dishes are suitable for allergy sufferers. According to the Natasha Act, you must list all ingredients on individual packages of products considered prepackaged for direct sale (PPDS). Products manufactured at the customer`s request do not need to carry an allergen label, but this information must be available to customers when they request it. If you sell PPDS foods, you need to make sure you have implemented the new regulations. While COVID-19 has significantly disrupted business trade and caused significant disruptions to the supply chain, the two-year transition period should have given you enough time to make the necessary changes.
Natasha`s law went into effect in October 2021 and the two-year transition period should have given you enough time to organize how you will label all PPDS products with a full list of ingredients. If you run a small grocery store or coffee shop, you may feel like you lack the staff, time, or technology to make the changes. To make things easier, we recommend the following preparation methods: In addition, knowledge of the Natasha law and the implementation of controls around allergens will improve your assessment of food hygiene. EHOs will work with you and give you advice on how to improve your business while choosing not to implement labelling regulations and not take allergens seriously, which will detract from your assessment. Arvind Thandi works in the Food Sensitivity Policy team at the FSA on projects to improve the quality of life of people with food allergies and intolerances. Arvind has worked in several ministries, including the Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; the Ministry of Justice; and Cabinet Office. The proposal follows the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperpouse in July 2016, who died from an allergic reaction to a baguette sandwich. Natasha had a known allergy to sesame products, but nothing printed on the sandwich packaging indicated that the product contained such ingredients. The sandwich was made on the premises where it was sold, so the large takeaway operator who supplied the baguette was not required by law under current food labelling laws to list allergens on the packaging, but Natasha`s death was a powerful wake-up call. Since then, the government has been studying how best to communicate allergens through food and beverage labelling. Before ordering, Owen informed employees at the Byron burger chain about his milk allergy.
Nevertheless, he was assured that the grilled chicken he consumed was allergen-free. However, it turned out that the chicken had actually been marinated in buttermilk. There was no mention of marinade or allergenic ingredients on the menu or staff. As a result, Owen sadly passed away after a severe anaphylactic reaction. Since the preventable incident, his family has campaigned for “Owen`s Law.” Similar to Natasha`s law, they want laws introduced to ensure restaurants label allergens better. It is important for food businesses to understand the importance of the new changes, and just months before the law comes into force, the FSA will continue to help businesses prepare for these changes. We have our own PPDS centre on the FSA website which has useful information, including our food allergy and intolerance training, which has been updated to reflect changes to PPDS food labelling.