Food allergen labelling changes become law

A Statutory Instrument (SI) has been laid in Parliament extending labelling requirements for people with food allergies and intolerances. The law, which comes into effect from October 2021, will require businesses to provide full ingredient and allergen labelling on foods that are pre-packed for direct sale. The change in the law is the result of a UK-wide consultation which followed the death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, as a result of an allergic reaction to a baguette she had eaten that did not display allergen information on the packaging. The new food labelling regulations will allow allergy sufferers to feel more confident in the food they buy.  

The changes to food allergen labelling will apply in England, with similar arrangements expected to follow in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

 

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is developing a working interpretation of the types of food to which this legislation applies. This will be published on 1 October which will give food businesses a two-year transition period to prepare for the new food allergen labelling requirements. 

 

So, what do I need to do before the new allergen labelling legislation comes into force?   

  • Ensure your product is traceable. In order to correctly label allergens, you need to know the source of every ingredient in the manufacturing process, so that your customers are fully informed.  
  • Provide staff with allergen training. You need to ensure all employees know the risks of incorrect/ incomplete allergen labelling, they should also all be able to provide allergen information when requested by a customer.  

 

How do I know if the new food labelling regulations apply to me?  

Is your product pre-packed for direct sale? PPDS is food that has been packaged in the same establishment that it is going to be sold in, any food that is packaged or wrapped before being ordered by the customer will be subject to the new food labelling regulations.  

While loose food such as a cake stored under a glass case and served on a plate, or hot food kept in vats that customers help themselves too, falls out of the PPDS scope, there are still rules around providing allergen information. Servers, must be able to provide customers with allergen information whether that is orally, digitally or via POS.  

More information can be found here:

Food.Gov.UK News: Allergen Info for prepacked food for direct sale

Food.Gov.UK News: Food Allergen Changes Become Law

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