The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published updated technical guidance for allergen labelling, due to upcoming changes for pre-packed food under ‘Natasha’s Law’.
‘Natasha’s Law’ will come into effect in the UK from 1 October 2021, and will require food businesses to include full ingredients labelling on pre-packaged foods in order to protect the UK’s two million food allergy sufferers.
The legislative changes were introduced following a UK-wide consultation after the death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, as a result of an allergic reaction to unlabelled sesame in a baguette she had eaten.
Under existing legislation, food prepared on the premises in which it is sold is not required to display full allergen information in writing.
The new requirements only apply to food known as prepacked for direct sale (PPDS), which is packaged onsite by a business before a customer selects or orders it from the same premises.
It means that PPDS food will be required to have a label with an ingredients list and the allergens contained emphasised on the list. This brings the way allergen information is provided for it in line with other prepacked food and reduces consumer confusion.
According to a statement from the FSA, the updated technical guidance now reflects the legislative changes and will help businesses and enforcement authorities understand the new requirements.
The FSA has stated that it will work with the industry and enforcement authorities to raise awareness of the changes before they are implemented next year.
Food Standards Agency chief executive, Emily Miles, said: “Consistent and accurate labelling can be life-saving for those living with a food allergy or hypersensitivity. These new measures are vital as they provide information to hypersensitive consumers in a form that is familiar and convenient for them.
“Food businesses and enforcement authorities need to be ready for the rules coming into effect in October 2021 which the updated technical guidance on food allergen labelling will help them to do.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020