New labelling legislation for pre-packed for direct sale foods

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FOOD businesses in Scotland will be required to include additional allergen labelling on pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS) foods under new legislation.

The new rules will require the full product name to be visible on PPDS food packaging as well as a full list of ingredients from October 1.

Examples of PPDS foods include sandwiches packaged by food businesses and sold at the same premises, as well as wrapped deli counter goods and pre-made boxed salads.

Food Standards Scotland’s chair, Ross Finnie, commented, “The implementation of this new law supports the strong consumer call for complete allergen and ingredient information on PPDS foods, making life easier for many who need to have clarity and trust in the food they buy for safety and dietary reasons.

“This level of transparency is a significant step forward in providing clear information for people with allergies, which can be life threatening if they consume food to which they are allergic.

“While the best level of consumer protection is vital, we recognise that changing labelling requirements will affect businesses, and have carried out extensive stakeholder engagement across industry and enforcement authorities to assess the benefits, risks and impacts.

 “We will continue to engage with stakeholders to raise awareness through a communications campaign in the coming months to highlight the changes and provide support through practical guidance and online resources, including an allergen training package which will help businesses and enforcement officers.”

Food Standards Scotland will work closely with the Food Standards Agency to publish information to ensure that businesses of all sizes throughout the UK can prepare and adapt to these changes.

Public Health minister, Mairi Gougeon, added,“I welcome that Scotland is moving forward and making these important changes. Everyone wants to understand more about what is in their food and we want to give them increased confidence about the food that they buy.

“Having information about allergens and ingredients upfront on the labels of all prewrapped food is crucial for people who have food allergies and I am pleased that we are making real progress here.

“I recognise that this is also a challenge for industry, which is why we are announcing these changes now. FSS will continue working with stakeholders over the next eight months to help industry prepare for when the new labelling requirements come into force in October.”