In October 2021, new food information regulations came into effect and directly relates to any food that is pre-packaged and sold on site. The changes come under Natasha’s Law – legislation resulting from lobbying and consultation after the death in 2016 of Natasha Edan-Laperouse from an allergic reaction to a pre-packed sandwich. Natasha sadly died as a result of an allergic reaction to sesame seeds, which were an unlisted ingredient in the pre-packed baguette she was eating. Leading a lobbying group, her parents campaigned for a change in the law to close the loophole.
The reforms cover labelling requirements for foods that are prepared and packed on the same premises from which they are sold – such as a packaged sandwich or salad made by staff earlier in the day and placed on a shelf for purchase.
The ‘PPDS’ moniker (pre-packed for direct sale) applies to foods prepared on site and packaged for sale and could cover a range of options.
The legislation requires that the label must name the product (e.g. ‘Sausage Roll’) and list all of the ingredients contained within it. The major allergens – that’s any of the 14 allergens currently defined in food labelling law – must be emphasised in some way, for instance in bold, or by being underlined, capitalised or presented in a different colour font, like the image below.
What are the 14 allergens?
- cereals containing gluten – including wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan), rye, barley and oats
- crustaceans – such as prawns, crabs and lobsters
- molluscs – such as mussels and oysters
- tree nuts – including almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts
- sesame seeds
- sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if they are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million)
What do schools need to be aware of?