What You Need To Know About Natasha’s Law

From October 2021, all foods produced and packed for sale at the same premises must be labelled with a full list of ingredients. The UK Food Information Amendment, also known as ‘Natasha’s Law’, is being introduced to protect allergy sufferers and give them confidence in the food they buy.

Natasha’s law states that for all prepacked foods, the name of the food and all ingredients must be listed on the packaging with with allergenic ingredients emphasised (for example inbold, italics or a different colour). These changes will first apply to businesses in England and are also expected to come into force in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the near future.

Prepacked For Direct Sale (PPDS)

This law was specifically introduced because of the lack of labelling in Prepacked For Direct Sale (PPDS) foods. Currently foods prepared on the premises in which they are sold are not required to be individually labelled with ingredient lists, meaning food allergy sufferers are often cautious of buying food whilst they are out. 

PPDS foods are interpreted as food products which are packaged on the same site they are sold. For example a packaged sandwich or salad made by staff earlier in the day and placed on a shelf for purchase. The FSA is currently developing a revised working interpretation of the types of food to which Natasha’s Law applies. This will give greater clarity on the types of food covered, and how they are made available to the consumer.

How Natasha’s Law Came About 

This amendment was brought about thanks to the actions of a lobbying group lead by the parents of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse. Natasha was a 15 year old girl who died after suffering an allergic reaction to an undeclared ingredient in a PPDS meal. After her untimely death, Natasha’s family set up ‘Natasha’s Allergy Research Foundation’. After several years of researching food laws, and not seeing sufficient change, her family campaigned for tighter regulations to prevent further incidents from occurring. The bill known as “Natasha’s Law” was introduced by Michael Gove in September 2019, giving food businesses two years to prepare for the change. 

At the time of the announcement, Natasha’s parents, Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse said the law was a “fitting legacy” following the death of their daughter. “We are absolutely delighted that the Secretary of State has announced the Government’s decision to go ahead with full allergen and ingredient labelling”.

“While Natasha’s Law comes too late to save our beloved daughter, we believe that helping save other allergy sufferers and their families from the enduring agony that we will always bear is a fitting legacy for her life.”

How Can I Ensure Accurate Information?

From October 2021, the onus is on food businesses to react to the changes brought about by Natasha’s Law. But how can you ensure accurate information? 

Ensuring the accuracy of the allergen information in the foods served in your business requires ‘allergen management’ to become a function of your business in the same way food safety management is. Implementing allergen management should be integrated with your existing HACCP plan. Everyone in your business has a responsibility to ensure the provision of correct allergen information so make sure adequate training is given to empower staff with the knowledge they need to keep the system operating as expected. It is up to food businesses to ensure that they understand the law and adapt to it correctly. Natasha’s Law is a step in the right direction to protect allergen sufferers.

If you own or work in a food business and would like to know more, visit our resource page where we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about Natasha’s Law.