natashas law

Natasha’s Law – What schools need to know…

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?

  1. celery
  2. cereals containing gluten – including wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan), rye, barley and oats
  3. crustaceans – such as prawns, crabs and lobsters
  4. eggs
  5. fish
  6. lupin
  7. milk
  8. molluscs – such as mussels and oysters
  9. mustard
  10. tree nuts – including almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts
  11. peanuts
  12. sesame seeds
  13. soybeans
  14. 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?

School canteens or contractors will need to make sure that the food and ingredients they provide pre-packaged on-site meet all the labelling requirements of the new legislation. For most schools, this will become a supplier management issue since, in many cases, you rely on outsourced caterers to supply food for pupils on-site. However, for schools that make and wrap food in-house, you will need to provide this information.

 

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