The Food Standards Agency has launched a hub to help businesses, including bakeries and cafes, comply with the new allergen labelling legislation.
Called Natasha’s Law, it comes into force on 1 October 2021 and means that pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS) foods must have full ingredients on the product label with allergenic ingredients emphasised within that list.
The changes come following the death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse from an allergic reaction caused by a packaged baguette which, at the time, did not require allergen labelling.
The hub is designed to help support food businesses with information including labelling guidance and guides for specific sectors such as bakery, fast food, takeaways, cafes, pubs, and schools. The guides give practical information on PPDS and how these changes could impact a food business.
In addition, the FSA is hosting a webinar on 4 August at 2pm called ‘FSA explains PPDS changes for businesses’. Here, FSA experts will outline what PPDS is and how businesses can comply. Mark Cowley, retail operations product owner for Greggs, and Claire Florey, regulatory affairs manager at Greggs, will also be speaking to share their learning and offer examples for smaller businesses. The duo will also be taking part in a Q&A session as part of the event.
Greggs started trials of full labelling on pre-packed items in a couple of shops before the pandemic, with 20 involved from June this year. It aims to have 100-plus engaged over the summer.
“The FSA’s ambition is that the UK becomes the best place in the world for a food-hypersensitive consumer and the upcoming allergen labelling changes are a huge milestone for people with food allergies,” said Sushma Acharya, head of policy and strategy for food hypersensitivity at the FSA.
“We recognise the significant impact this will have on many businesses, and with less than three months to go, we want to ensure businesses are supported in making these changes. As well as the guidance and resources we have available, we will be hosting a webinar that has been designed with micro and small businesses in mind.”
To find out more about how businesses are preparing for the legislation, read our latest feature ‘Is the food-to-go sector ready for Natasha’s Law?’