FSA launches information hub ahead of Natasha’s Law introduction

Foods made and packaged in places such as cafes will be required to have ingredient and allergen information on packs

THE Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published new resources to support food businesses preparing for upcoming changes to the labelling of pre-packed for direct sale foods.

Also known as Natasha’s Law, the changes come following the tragic death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died from an allergic reaction caused by a takeaway sandwich which, at the time, did not require allergen labelling on the packaging.

Currently, only food and drink that has been prepared off site is required to feature an ingredients list and allergen information on packaging. However, food made and packaged on site for direct sale – such as refrigerated sandwiches in a café – do not require such detail.

The new legislation means that businesses will be required to label food products prepared and packaged on site with a full list of ingredients and allergen information. Unpackaged foods, or products packed upon purchase, will not need to be labelled – however, verbal or written allergen advice will be required.

To help support food businesses make the transition, the FSA has launched a new hub featuring helpful information – including new guidance for prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) foods, and guides that will be useful to specific sectors including bakeries, butchers, fast food and takeaways, mobile sellers, restaurants, cafes and pubs, and schools.

Sushma Acharya, head of policy and strategy for food hypersensitivity at the Food Standards Agency, commented, “The FSA’s ambition is that the UK becomes the best place in the world for a food hypersensitive consumer and the upcoming allergen labelling changes are a huge milestone for people with food allergies.

“We recognise the significant impact this will have on many businesses, and with less than three months to go, we want to ensure businesses are supported in making these changes. As well as the guidance and resources we have available, we will be hosting a webinar that has been designed with micro and small businesses in mind.”

Click here to access the Food Standards Agency’s new PPDS Hub.