Natasha’s Law comes into force on Friday

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Pre-packaged foods: new allergen legislation comes is set to come in to force (Credit: Getty Images / dontree_m)
Pre-packaged foods: new allergen legislation comes is set to come in to force (Credit: Getty Images / dontree_m)

Related tags: Allergen, Allergen information, Public house

New allergen legislation requiring food businesses to provide full ingredients labelling on food that has been pre-packed for direct sale is set to come into force on Friday (1 October).

This requires all food businesses to provide full ingredients labelling on food that has been pre-packed for direct sale. 

The new legislation is designed to better protect those with allergies and give them greater confidence in the food they purchase out of home. The reforms cover labelling requirements for foods that are prepared and packed on the same premises from which they are sold – such as a packaged sandwich or salad made by staff earlier in the day and placed on a shelf for purchase.

Following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the teenager who died after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette, the Government confirmed stronger laws would be implemented to protect those with allergies and give them greater confidence in the food they buy.

Legislation

The legislation covers food, which is packaged at the same site it is offered to consumers, and is in this packaging before it is ordered or selected. This would include sandwiches packaged and sold from the same premises, or fast food wrapped or packaged before a customer selects or orders it.

Made-to-order or unwrapped foods are not affected by this new law, although allergen information must still be available for these products. 

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: “We recognise transparency around allergens is a key issue for customers and we continue to support the Government’s agenda on improving food safety and clarity of information available.

“We have worked closely with members and in partnership with the FSA to ensure this new legislation is clear for food businesses and they know their responsibilities in order to comply.”

Survival mode

Nicholls continued: “However, the fact remains is that this has been significant undertaking for some businesses, coming at a critical time during hospitality’s recovery phase.

“The vast majority of operators are in survival mode and will be for the foreseeable future. With the ongoing disruption to the supply chain and new rules on calorie labelling rules due to come into force in April 2022, there is a real risk that further legislation being introduced over the next few months puts the brakes on our recovery.

“We, therefore, urge the Government to consider delaying the implementation of upcoming calorie labelling legislation, to give businesses the required time to get back on their feet and prepare for future food labelling changes in a reasonable time-frame.”

 

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