We knew it was coming and here it is: Natasha’s Law has been confirmed, and from October 2021 will require all food prepared and packaged on the same premises it is sold to display full ingredient and allergen labelling.
Whilst fantastic news for the countries 2 million allergen sufferers, it also presents caterers with a wealth of challenges. Well, Erudus loves a challenge and so we thought we’d share some of the ways we hope to help make your transition to new legislation that bit easier…
We’ll be working on solutions to enhance our current tool and increase resources to caterers. This includes
- A label printing system to tie in with our recipe builder. Labelling is catering’s latest buzzword, but we know that many establishments don’t have the staff, time, tech or infrastructure to meet the new demand.
- Guidance and plans for avoiding cross contamination, a long-term issue that Natasha’s Law will not eradicate, or even affect.
- Risk assessments and downloadable blog posts are other ideas we’re exploring.
Your 1 minute refresher on Natasha’s Law
This law is the most significant allergen legislation reform of the 21st century. A huge deal. It means that going forward, all food businesses will be legally required to include full ingredient labelling on foods packed and labelled on the same premises from which they are being sold – for example, your salads or sandwiches made by staff earlier in the day and placed on a shelf for consumers to purchase.
It’s named for Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the 15-year-old who tragically died in 2018 after an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger artichoke, tapenade and olive baguette purchased at Heathrow airport. Ednan-Laperouse’s family lobbied hard for this law, largely because her death was triggered by the sesame seeds in the sandwich which were not listed as ingredients on the packaging.
Here’s what we’re still waiting on…
Definitions – The FSA is developing a working interpretation of the types of food to which the legislation applies. This was scheduled to be published on 1 October this year, but has now been pushed back until the end of 2019. When made available, it should help clear up lingering questions around the differences between food that is prepared to order and pre-prepared food, since only the latter qualifies for this law.
Wider dates – The October 2021 date applies to English businesses, but we can expect Wales and Scotland to follow soon.