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Millions of allergy sufferers across the country will now be protected by a new law passed by Parliament.
The new law will require food businesses to label all pre-packed foods for direct sale with a full list of all ingredients
This is following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the teenager who died after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette.
As the law at the time didn’t require sandwiches prepared on-site to be labelled with allergen information, Natasha was unaware that the baguette contained sesame, which she was severely allergic to.
Since then, the government has implemented stronger laws to protect those who suffer from allergies, to give them greater confidence in the safety of the food they purchase.
If you’re a food and drink business, which many of our customers are, it’s important to prepare for the upcoming change. Customers who suffer from allergies and have purchased food from you should have the confidence to come back and feel safe.
As of October 2021, the new allergen legislation will come into force and will require any food that is packed on the same site from which it’s sold to be clearly labelled with a full list of all the ingredients used.
The government has advised that full ingredient labelling received “overwhelming” support from the public and they have full confidence in this new change.
Tragic cases like Natasha’s show that the consequences of mislabelling food products can be severe.
You and your staff should already know about allergens and how to communicate them to customers. Training employees on the new allergen legislation should minimise the risk of errors and mistakes when it comes to labelling.
labelling appropriately means that all the ingredients are listed with allergen information often emphasised in bold font, there are 14 major allergens that you should be aware of.
2. Link up your food data with labelling
Linking up a database of food products and ingredients to the printing process ensures that labels are printed with the correct information and are easily transferable.
This database could record your products, recipes, and ingredients, making it easy to track what’s being used and where.
Apps and technology can help you do this. For instance, a cloud-based tool called Andromeda aims to help takeaway and delivery businesses label their products with allergen information already available on their websites.
Another app called Ubamarket lets customers scan a product’s barcode, which instantly tells them whether it contains allergens.
While implementing technology might lead to more costs in the short term, it could ultimately help you become more efficient. It’s worth investigating what technology is out there that will suit your business.
3. Follow all the guidance and encourage loyalty
The best place to check for up-to-date information on allergen legislation is the FSA.
You can also speak to your local authority, as well as a legal professional if you want to get advice specific to your business.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are two million allergy sufferers across the country, and many find it difficult to buy food in shops and restaurants with confidence.
If you make the changes successfully, you’ll establish your reputation as a business that listens to the needs of allergy sufferers. This should encourage trust and loyalty for the customer relationship.
The UK Food Labelling Resource has also released a wide range of resources to help your business prepare for the changes ahead in October. The UK Food Labelling Resource is a non-profit information group set up by Nutritics, a global provider of allergen management and nutrition labeling solutions.
At Trevors Foodservice, we are ensuring that our customers have peace of mind in the products they purchase from us, with a full traceable list of allergens and dietary requirements available on each product.
Our online ordering gives clear, information on what is in each product, detailing whether it contains one or more of the allergens, alongside other dietary requirements.
This information can be found under the product on the online ordering, with the product’s ingredients and nutritional analysis on display, giving you peace of mind so that you can focus on your catering goals.
In addition, we have attached “Natasha’s Law explained Webinar” which goes into all the details of the changes and how you can get yourself ready for the change in the law.
As a wholesale food service, we want to be part of the positive change within our sector and keep striding towards food health safety for the wider public.
If you would like any additional support or you just have a couple of questions to ask, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.