That was the message from director of learning – hospitality Jamie Campbell, who was talking at the MA Leaders Club meeting at North Brewing Co’s Springwell site in Leeds on the introduction of Natasha’s Law.
Natasha’s Law, which will come into effect from Friday (1 October), requires food businesses to provide full ingredient lists and allergen labelling on PPDS foods on the premises. The legislation is being introduced to protect allergy sufferers and give them confidence in the food they buy.
CPL Learning’s research found 84% of people see the move as a step forward. Other statistics Campbell revealed included 39% of GB consumers either have a food allergy, intolerance or dietary preference or a restriction – including 13% who have a potentially fatal allergy.
However, Campbell explained the positivity is not only backed by those who suffer allergies but also by those do not, and it is a movement being led largely by those aged between 18 and 34.
He added 15% of those with dietary issues are not very or not at all confident they can trust the safety of food when eating out. Additionally, CPL’s statistics showed 26% of GB customers are fully aware of Natasha’s Law while 34% are also aware but don’t know much about it.
Campbell added the issue can “cause challenges when talking to your teams” because many will not know the finer details of Natasha’s Law.
Key points Campbell stressed included that operators must get the necessary support from suppliers regarding ingredients and to consider all the potential scenarios that could affect you operating model and work out the issues.
Other factors to consider are that it is important to have a back-up labelling option in case your printer breaks; ensure your allergen processes and training are up to date; and that not addressing the issue could impact customers’ confidence in your business.