With the introduction of Natasha’s law approaching in October 2021, food businesses are being urged to get ready. When the new legislation comes into force in England and Wales, all food businesses will need to provide full lists of ingredients and allergens on food packaged and sold on the premises. It’s being introduced to protect allergy suffers and give them confidence wherever they buy food.
The UK Food Information amendment has come about due to the actions of the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation. This lobbying group is led by the parents of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, a teenager who tragically died after suffering an allergic reaction to an undeclared ingredient in a prepackaged food item. Their campaign put pressure on the government to agree that stronger laws to protect those with food allergies were needed.
With the new rules, any PPDS (Prepackaged for Direct Sale) food will have to display the following information on its packaging:
- Name of the food.
- Full ingredients list, with allergenic ingredients emphasised (for example in bold, italics or a different colour).
Over 450 businesses attended a live webinar on 26th January, hosted by food labelling experts Nutritics, to introduce them to the new law. Industry experts from Manchester Metropolitan University, EuroFIR and the FSA attended to help provide clarity around the legislation change. A summary of the questions asked was added to the FAQ section of the free information resource www.natashas-law.com, set up by Nutritics. Their team of experts will answer any question posted there. The site hosts a wealth of resources to get food businesses ready for Natasha’s law, including details of a series of seminars on different aspects of the legislation over the coming months.
Heather Hancock, Food Standards Agency Chair said: “I encourage businesses large and small to work with the Food Standards Agency to get this right. Success will mean more choice and better protection for the millions of people – our families, friends, colleagues and neighbours across the UK – who have food allergies.”