From October 1st, Natasha’s Law will come into force, requiring food businesses in Wales, England, and Northern Ireland to label all pre-packed food with a full ingredients list.
The law has been introduced to protect allergy sufferers and give them confidence in the food they buy.
What is ‘Natasha’s’ Law?
In July 2016, 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse suffered an anaphylactic reaction to sesame seeds baked into the dough of a baguette she had purchased from a well-known fast-food chain.
There was no mention of ingredients, or allergen information on the packaging and had there been, Natasha would still likely be with us today.
After her death, Natasha’s parents, Tanya and Nadim, created the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation to aid further allergen research.
In September 2019, her parents successfully petitioned Natasha’s Law in her legacy, to tighten the rules on food labelling for pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS) food.
This can include food that consumers select themselves, from a fridge or display unit, or from behind a counter. Some mobile or temporary outlets may also be included.
The Food Standards Agency has created a tool to help businesses identify if they sell PPDS food.
Similarly, any food your business orders that’s pre-packed, must already come with a full ingredients list and allergen information.
If your business does not sell pre-packaged foods then you do not need to change anything about your allergy labelling process.
However, businesses will need to ensure that mandatory allergen information is available to the consumers when they purchase the product or at the moment of delivery.
Before purchase, allergen and ingredient information should be shared on either the website, catalogue or menu of the business.
At time of delivery, allergen information must be shown with either stickers on the food or a copy of the menu containing the allergen information should be enclosed.
Any business that produces PPDS food will be required to label every individual product with the name of the food and the ingredients list with allergens emphasised.
The 14 allergens required to be declared by law are:
Further allergen information can be found here
Natasha’s law is more than a new labelling format, it’s a legacy to a girl who lost her life too young. The number of people with allergies in the UK is rising, with one in four people allergic to one of the 14 main allergens.
Emma Clifford, Associate Director of Food and Drink at Mintel, said: “Given the perceived lack of clarity and the dangerous health implications that ambiguous allergen labelling can have on consumers, there is a real need for companies to make the presence of allergens very obvious on labelling.”
How we can help
Creating a label, listing every ingredient and allergen for each pre-packaged item can be a daunting task. With the help of Erudus One, we have an easy-to-use solution we are delighted to offer FREE to our customers.
Erudus One provides caterers with comprehensive nutritional breakdowns, dietary advice and allergen information on over 20,000 products that caterers purchase through one data source.
Here's a quick overview:
“View and download product specifications for over 45,000 products in the Erudus data pool”
“Get access to all of the legally required allergen and nutritional information for the ingredients you use”
“Build recipe specifications that will work out the allergen & nutritional information, method of preparation and costing of the recipe”
“Generate an ingredients declaration for a recipe and copy it to your label printing software to label up any PPDS that you make”
“All your recipes are saved in one place and easily edited if you change an ingredient”
A quick start guide for caterers
Download Erudus Guide Here
In accordance with the Food Information for Consumers Regulation (FIC) you now need to be able to answer any consumer queries regarding allergens for the food that you serve. The Food Standards Agency has produced a handy allergen information leaflet that explains what the new legislation could mean for you and an overview of the 14 allergens which need to be declared when used as ingredients. Take a look at the downloadable resources below or visit the Food Standards Agency website for further advice and resources to help you comply with the regulations.
Nutritional information on over 20,000 foodservice product lines. Click image to view video
While the new legislation aims to help consumers and the general public gain a better understanding of the content of the food that they eat; we understand that it is a challenge for businesses throughout the catering and foodservice industry to meet the requirements. Erudus provides caterers with comprehensive nutritional breakdowns, dietary advice and allergen information on over 20,000 products that caterers are purchasing through one data source. Great news for Harlech customers; we are able to offer you this data source completely FREE of charge
Email [email protected] for more information and get you started.
This includes celery stalks, leaves, seeds and the root called celeriac. You can find celery in celery salt, salads, some meat products, soups and stock cubes.
Cereals containing gluten
Wheat (such as spelt and Khoasan wheat / Kamut), rye, barley, and oats is often found in foods containing flour, such as some types of baking powder, batter, breadcrumbs, bread, cakes, couscous, meat products, pasta, pastry, sauces, soups and fried foods which are dusted with flour.
Crabs, lobster, prawns and scampi are crustaceans. Shrimp paste, often used in Thai and south-east Asian curries or salads, is an ingredient to look our for.
Eggs are often found in cakes, some meat products, mayonnaise, mousses, pasta, quiche, sauces and pastries or foods brushed or glazed with egg.
You will find this in some fish sauces, pizzas, relishes, salad dressings, stock cubes and Worcestershire sauce.
Yes, lupin is a flower, bit it's also found in flour! Lupin flour and seeds can be used in some types of bread, pastries and even in pasta.
Milk is a common ingredient in butter, cheese, cream, milk powders and yoghurt. It can also be found in foods brushed or glazed with milk, and in powdered soups and sauces.
These include mussels, land snails, squid and whelks, but can also be commonly found in oyster sauce or as an ingredient in fish stews.
Liquid mustard, mustard powder and mustard seeds fall into this category. This ingredient can also be found in breads, curries, marinades, meat products, salad dressings, sauces and soups.
Not to be mistaken with peanuts ( which are actually legume and grow underground), this ingredient refers to nuts which grow on trees, like cashew nuts, almonds and hazelnuts. You can find nuts in breads, biscuits, crackers, desserts, nut powders (often used in Asian curries), stir-fried dishes, ice cream, marzipan (almond paste), nut oils and sauces.
Peanuts are actually a legume and grow underground, which is why it's sometimes called a groundnut. Peanuts are often used as an ingredient in biscuits, cakes, curries, desserts, sauces (such as satay sauce), as well as in groundnut oil and peanut flour.
These seeds can often be found in bread ( sprinkled on hamburger buns for example), bread sticks, houmous, sesame oil and tahini. They are sometimes toasted and used in salads.
Often found in bean curd, edamame beans, miso paste, textured soya protein, soya flour or tofu. Soya is a staple ingredient in oriental food. It can also be found in desserts, ice cream, meat products, sauces and vegetarian products.
This is an ingredient often used in dried fruit such as raisins, dried apricots and prunes. You might also find it in meat products, soft drinks, vegetables as well as in wine and beer. If you have asthma, you have a higher risk of developing a reaction to sulphur dioxide.