Natasha’s law for foods and beverages in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland
Natasha’s Law is an allergen identification law for England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The law was created after Natasha lost her life when she consumed a food item that did not display all the allergens present in the food. She unknowingly consumed something she was allergic to. This was not anyone’s fault, and no laws were broken but at the time there was no rule about displaying all the allergens present in a PPDS food or beverage item. However as of October 1, 2021, all foods that are Pre-Packed for Direct Sale (PPDS) will require allergen identification to help prevent any other such loss.
What is PPDS?
PPDS stands for Pre-Packed for Direct Sale meaning foods or beverages packaged for direct sale to your customer. For example, a sandwich that your shop creates and stores on a shelf that you package at your facility is considered PPDS. On that sandwich you must display an allergen notification so the consumer can select and decide if the food is the right choice for them and how it will impact their health.
Do you qualify for PPDS?
There are 3 types of packages that you probably have in your facility.
- Pre-packaged from another vendor – You purchase this from another vendor to sell in your shop and it is already pre-packed. For example, you buy your Danish from a vendor that pre-packages it and you sell that item as it was provided by your vendor. In this case this food item will already have an allergen list displayed on the package your vendor makes, hence you are not responsible for adding any more information as long as you don’t remove that package and the consumer can still see this information clearly. This type of food item is not considered a PPDS, however it will have an allergen list, since its pre-packed from another vendor.
- Custom made order or made to order for the consumer — This type of food item your customer will order as they need, and it is custom made for them. The law states in this case you don’t need to add an allergen list since the consumer will inform you if they are allergic to any ingredients. Encourage your team to ask the customer if they have any allergies before preparing their order, so the conversation can begin and any foods with allergens can be avoided.
- Pre-packed for Direct Sale — This is where you and your team package the item for your consumer and the item is available as a grab and go in your shop or facility. This type of package requires an allergen label on the package so your consumer can decide if this is the right food item for them and does qualify for Natasha Laws starting October 2021.
How can you be ready for this law?
The food industry has until October 1, 2021, to get ready for this law if you are located in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. To help your team and business get ready, make sure you have ingredients and allergen lists for all food items that you purchase to create your own pre-packaged items. For example, if you make and sell pre-package sandwiches and you buy your bread, special sauce/spread etc. from another business then ask them to provide you details about those items. You can then check if those items contain any allergens, that you may need to display on your final product.
You are responsible to display all the allergens present in the final PPDS product even items you don’t make from scratch and buy pre-made for your final food. The allergen list information can be provided by your supplier so contact them and organize all this information within your facility as you prepare for this law.
How can you display the allergen information on your package?
Once you have the details about your food item, now you need to determine your options to display this data. The law states that the allergens UK MUST be in an easy-to-read format so your consumer can easily detect and review on the package.
You must also clarify how the allergens are displayed, are they in bold, or capital letters, another color, so it can be easily distinguishable within the ingredient lists.
See blog image this is a full ingredient list of all the items in a sample sandwich and the allergens are identified via bold text.
How can Axxya Systems help?
- We here at Axxya Systems offer a UK/EU food labeling system to display the allergen information. To access and use this system simply sign up here.
- Once you are signed up you can easily create your recipe within the system and create a nutrition label or an allergen list.
- As the picture shows below, you can either display both the nutrition and allergen/ingredient list or you can simply copy paste the ingredient list to a word document and create your own image for your package.
- To learn more about how to use this system check out our video library.
- If you would like to learn more about this rule check out our Video explaining Natasha Laws
- Link to the pdf discussed in the video.
Resources to help with Natasha’s Law
For more information feel free to check out these links below
- https://www.food.gov.uk/allergen-ingredients-food-labelling-decision-tool a great tool to determine if you qualify for this rule.
- https://www.food.gov.uk/ the Food Standards Agency – the governing body implementing this rule.
- Labeling guidance for PPDS https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/labelling-guidance-for-prepacked-for-direct-sale-ppds-food-products
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