In 2016, Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died from an allergic reaction to sesame, after purchasing a sandwich in Heathrow airport before eating it onboard her flight. Natasha, then 15, went into anaphylactic shock mid-air and sadly passed away.
It was entirely legal for businesses selling ‘Pre-Packaged Foods for Direct Sale’ (PPDS) on the premises, to not include a full list of ingredients or allergens on the packaging.
This tragic event sparked a lobbying movement – headed by Natasha’s parents – to legally require PPDS businesses to include a full list of ingredients and allergens on the labelling of all pre-packaged food sold on the premises.
From 1 October 2021 “Natasha’s Law”, officially titled the UK Food Information Amendment 2019, will come into effect. All businesses selling food made and packaged in their establishment must label their products in line with the new law.
What are the requirements of Natasha’s law?
The packaging of PPDS items must show the name of the food/an accurate product description, in addition to a list of all ingredients.
Moreover, the 14 most common/potent food allergens must be emphasised on the packet, so customers can easily locate common allergens.
These allergens are: celery, gluten-containing products such as barley and oats, crustaceans including prawns, crab and lobster; eggs; fish; lupin; milk; molluscs including mussels and oysters; mustard; peanuts; sesame; soybean; sulphur dioxide and sulphites and tree nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macademia nuts.
The last requirement of Natasha’s law states there must be a use by date on the packaging.
At this time, nutritional value is not required, though PPDS businesses should consider it, as it may become a necessity in the near future and is under review.
What does this mean for businesses?
The importance of labelling – businesses selling PPDS products must expand their product labelling to ensure they meet the new law by 1 October 2021.
Ensuring their product labelling can meet the new law, as well as the software and systems in place to keep track of this and eradicate the possibility of human error leading to inaccurate packaging.
You can find out more here UK Food Labelling Resource.
Next week we will look at the labelling products you should be considering, to prepare your business for 1 October 2021.