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If you’ve read any of the key foodservice trade magazines in recent months, or you subscribe to the various email updates, you will have noticed plenty being said about Natasha’s Law. And rightly so. This is the biggest change in food safety legislation for years, closing a gap in the regulations which tragically proved fatal for Natasha Ednan-Laperouse in 2016.

From 1st October 2021, any food which is prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) must be labelled with a list of ingredients, including emphasised allergens. That means any products prepared and packed on the same site, including sandwiches, cakes, salads and pizzas.

If you’re not up to speed with the detail, Civica has pulled together various resources including a handy Q&A here.

We’ve written a lot about Natasha’s Law in recent months, because it impacts so much of the industry and so many of our clients. From the software providers giving their customers the platform to access allergen information, to the labelling partners who printing the new labels. From the ingredients suppliers and bakers who need to make allergen information available, to the operators who are selling PPDS food. This change is such a big one because spans the entire value chain, even before you consider the critical importance of getting allergen safety right.

When it first became law in 2019, the Food Standards Agency Chair, Heather Hancock, said: “This is an important and welcome step towards our ambition for the UK to become the best place in the world for people who have food allergies and intolerances. 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.”

And ultimately, that’s what this change comes down to. Better protection and safer food choices for around two million people who live with a food allergy in the UK. Most businesses will already have the processes in place to ensure compliance by now and I’m keeping an eye out for new labelling in sandwich shops, canteens and other outlets when I’m out.

It’s been a big build up towards October 1st but this another step in the right direction and further progress for food safety in the UK.

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