Over 450 Businesses Attend Live Webinar Introducing Natasha’s Law

On the 26th of January, The UK Food Labelling Resource hosted the first in a series of free Natasha’s Law webinars. Aimed at food businesses in the UK, the webinar brought together experts from all corners of the industry. The series was launched in order to introduce businesses to The UK Food Information Amendment, otherwise known as Natasha’s Law. The goal of the first webinar was to provide businesses with advice on where to begin as they prepare for the change. Natasha’s Law comes into effect on the 1st October, 2021. 

Attendees were treated to a number of high quality talks from industry experts. This was followed by a live Q&A session where the panel provided clarification around the legislation change. There were over 450 businesses in attendance.

In the UK, approximately 10 deaths a year are caused by food allergies

Getting Ready for Natasha’s Law

A panel of experts spoke at the webinar. This included Nutritics Managing Director Stephen Nolan, MMU Senior Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences Haleh Moravej, Author, Editor and Senior Researcher at EuroFIR, Dr. Siân Astley as well as Aimee Harmer from the FSA. Nutritics CEO and Founder, Damian O’Kelly joined th panel to answer questions as part of the live Q&A.

The first presentation was made by Aimee Harmer, Senior Policy Advisor at the FSA. Harmer provided a clear and thorough overview of Natasha’s Law. She highlighted the scale of food allergies in the UK, which result in approximately 10 deaths a year. Harmer also explained what is meant by PPDS foods, an area which was explored in greater detail during the Q&A. (All questions have since been added to our Resource page.)

Our first speaker also outlined the multitude of supports that are available through the FSA. This includes the FSA Online Food Allergy Training module.

Dr. Siân Astley and Allergen Anomalies

Dr. Siân Astley from EuroFIR spoke next. She discussed the food supply chain. She also explained some of the anomalies that exist worldwide which can make allergy labelling quite confusing. This includes the fact that there are no universal allergen symbols. Foods that are allergens in the UK and EU are not necessarily the same as those in countries such as Canada, China or the USA. This is mainly because of the different dietary habits that have developed over the years.

Her advice to attendees was that they need to clearly understand their roles. This refers to both their food production roles as well as their role in providing accurate labels. Depending on the exact nature of their business, responsibilities range from monitoring the correct use ingredients to implementing high safety standards in relation to cross-contamination with potentially allergenic foods.

Dr. Astley stated that the onus is on food businesses to ensure that that suppliers are reputable. This can be done through investigating whether or not suppliers are members of relevant trade associations and industry standard marks.

Nothing brings people together like food

Case Study: Launching MetMunch at MMU Campus

Guest speaker and Partner in the UK Food Labelling Resource, Haleh Moravej was up next. Moravej is a Senior Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences at MMU and food expert. She outlined the experience she had of launching MetMunch at the MMU campus. This was a new café area which was previously not attracting any customers.

Working with the university catering team to revamp the café, Haleh talked about the value of being creative. She also reminded attendees that nothing brings people together like food. As we reopen after the pandemic, Moravej outlined why she thinks that PPDS foods will grow in popularity as people purchase packaged foods to eat outside. Moravej noted that this is a real opportunity for food businesses.

Stephen Nolan – Introducing Our Step-by-Step Guide

As Managing Director, Stephen Nolan spoke on behalf of Nutritics. The Founding Partner of the UK Food Labelling Resource, Nutritics is a specialist in food information and labelling software.

Stephen outlined the company’s experience working with food businesses worldwide to set up food information and labelling systems. He outlined the type of systems available. These solutions allow businesses to input raw ingredients and create transparent recipes that give a full breakdown of nutritional data. This includes all allergen information. This information can then be used to create accurate food labelling. 

Stephen’s advice to webinar participants was to start preparing today. To begin with, Stephen suggested that businesses should look at their own stock and the suppliers they rely on for ingredients. Stephen also urged attendees to review the information and software solutions available.

Nolan emphasised that it is the initial supplier and stock review process that can take the most time. To ensure compliance on the 1st October 2021, he also cited the importance of training staff in allergen management. At the end of his talk, Stephen shared a step-by-step resource guide for all food businesses that are preparing for Natasha’s Law. You can download the guide here – ‘Get Your Business Ready for October 2021’

Don’t Miss Out – Sign Up for Future Events Today

All of the questions asked during the webinar are now available in our FAQ section. If you would like to ask a specific question about food labelling or Natasha’s Law, you can enter it into the form at the bottom of the Resource page. 

If you would like to attend our next webinar, you can register in advance using the form at the bottom of our Events page.

If you have any other questions, please contact the UK Food Labelling Resource at support@natashas-law.com. For more information on Nutritics Labelling Software Solution, click here