As we outlined in another, recent blog, Natasha’s Law will come into effect this October.
This new piece of legislation will place increased onus on all businesses serving food – including takeaway outlets – to fully inform customers about the contents of every dish.
The new rules are named after Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died after eating a sandwich from the Prêt à Manger café chain at Heathrow Airport, not realising that it contained traces of sesame seeds, which she was allergic to, because the packaging at the time did not require allergens to be stated. Despite the use of two epipens, Natasha developed an anaphylactic reaction on her British Airways plane to Nice, and sadly died later that day.
It’s in response to a growing number of incidents like this that the rule on allergen labelling for pre-packaged for direct sale (PPDS) items will change on the first of next month. This means that any food business selling PPDS foods will have to list all of the ingredients on the label, with allergenic substances highlighted. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) aspires to make the United Kingdom the best place in the world to be a hypersensitive consumer. It’s hoped that this will dramatically improve the quality of life for the estimated two million people in the UK with recognised food hypersensitivity, as well as those who suffer from food intolerance and celiac disease, many of whom currently live in fear of eating food they haven’t prepared themselves.
You can read more background about Natasha’s Law and what it means for all organisations serving food, here.
We have also recently featured insights from Hull-born food safety expert and allergy sufferer Heather Landex, to help offer further clarity to organisations trying to get to grips with the new requirements. Heather feels so passionate about the subject following her own, near-death allergy experience, she this year published a book on the implications for the food service industry. She argues that, while outlets may be overwhelmed by the new law’s scope, there is a big business opportunity to be seized if they look beyond that, and aim to go over and above to inform customers about the contents of their food.
Still confused? Look no further
The good news is that if you’re still feeling woefully unprepared for the impending deadline, we can help. We’ve made sure our experienced team are on top of the changes and their implications, regularly working with clients to assess their food preparation processes and provide advice on changes they need to make to their kitchens and service infrastructure, to ensure compliance. This means we have the expertise and insight to be able to help you too.
We also offer a food labelling solution called DateCodeGenie®, to help you better communicate food contents to your customers. We source these clever, customisable systems from food safety company NCCO which, like us, is working hard to increase awareness among businesses that aren’t yet fully prepared for what’s coming. You can read what the company’s Gray Adams had to say about the device and how it can help take the pressure off and save you time, in our blog.
Taking it seriously
Our Sales & Marketing Executive, Chris Elliott, added: “We’re acutely aware, At Elliott’s, just how important the implementation of Natasha’s Law is for the kinds of businesses we work with, and we’re keen to do everything possible to help educate you about the necessities around this and how you can achieve them.
“We know how overwhelming it can feel, at the moment, for already-beleaguered catering businesses to now carry out the work required to ensure they are ready for October’s changes, but we can’t stress enough just how important it is that you are ready.
“However, to anyone reading this blog who can feel their panic starting to rise, we’d say: don’t worry, let us take the strain. We’ll get you there in good time.”
Interested in finding out more about how DateCodeGenie® could help your business ensure compliance with Natasha’s Law? Call Elliott’s now on 01482 327580 or email us.