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New food labelling risk set to hit education organisations

The UK Food Information Amendment, also known as Natasha’s Law, comes into effect from 1 October 2021. The new allergen legislation will require food businesses to provide a full ingredient list for pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS) foods. The new labelling will help protect consumers by providing potentially life-saving allergen information on the packaging.

Any business that produces PPDS food will be required to label it with the name of the food and a full ingredients list, with allergenic ingredients emphasised within the list. The legislation applies to a wide range of organisations which have catering facilities that sell PPDS foods including primary and secondary schools, colleges, universities and nurseries.

Christopher Dawes, a consultant at RSK UK said:

‘The impact of Natasha’s law is far reaching and many non-traditional food outlets such as primary and secondary schools, colleges, universities and nurseries that provide catering facilities will need to comply with the new rules. This involves detailing full ingredient lists; emphasising any of the 14 allergens if present in the food; and ensuring allergen management is fundamental to all processes, including production and training, to mitigate risk.

‘Organisations that fail to comply could not only have an allergen incident onsite, but they could face fines of up to £5,000 per offence and potentially find themselves in court – highlighting the welfare, financial and reputational risk with non-compliance.’ 

More information on specific details of how to present a food label can be found in wider government guidance on food labelling. The Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) food labelling tool assists businesses to identify the ‘type of food’ that is being provided and the ‘allergen labelling requirements’.

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