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New allergen legislation comes into force on 1st October 2021

Are you ready for Natasha’s Law?

From 1st October 2021 the new allergen legislation known as Natasha’s Law will come into effect.

The introduction of the legislation means that the labelling requirements for food which is pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS) will change in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The position currently is that pre-packed food and drink prepared off site just needs to be clearly labelled with an ingredients list. If it is prepared on-site for direct sale the allergen information simply needs to be given in writing, it does not need to be displayed on the packaging.

From the 1st October 2021 you will be required to label all products, including those which are prepared and packaged on-site with a full ingredients list. The label will need to show the name of the food and the ingredients list with the 14 allergens required to be declared by law highlighted within it – for example in bold text – so that they stand out within the list.

Food which is prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) is food which has been packaged at the same place it is offered or sold to consumers and is in the packaging before it is ordered or selected. This can include food that customers have selected themselves or food that is kept behind a counter.

Some examples of PPDS food are sandwiches or bakery products packaged on site before a customer orders or selects them, fast food which is packaged before being ordered such as burgers under a hot lamp and pizzas, salads or pasta pots which are packaged onsite ready for sale.

If you are not able to label your PPDS food in this way by 1st October 2021 then you should remove these products from sale until such time as you are able to comply with the requirements otherwise you could face enforcement action

However, it is important to remember that you must also still ensure you comply with existing relevant food information and labelling requirements in addition to the above.

The Food Standards Agency provides useful guidance on this subject, which can be found here.

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