Plunkett community shop members are registered with ACS’s assured advice scheme and have access to their guides that provide accredited standards for in-store procedures, such as health and safety or underage sales. Following the consultation on amending allergen information provisions, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has announced a new law that will require businesses to include full ingredients labelling on food pre-packed for direct sale.

Under current Food Information Regulations, full ingredient labelling requirements currently apply only to pre-packaged food. For other foods, businesses are permitted to make allergen information available by any means, including orally.

The new law, known as ‘Natasha’s Law’, will require full ingredient labelling to be provided on the packaging of all food pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS). The 14 specified food allergens will need to be emphasised, for example, presented in bold. This will apply to foods that have been packed on the same premises from which they are being sold, for example, a packaged salad or baguette made by staff, packaged in the kitchen and then placed on a shelf for customers to purchase. The legislation will not include foods packed at the consumer’s request, such as a made to order sandwich, or loose foods. Labels will not be required to include potential cross-contamination.

The government will introduce the legislation by the end of Summer 2019 with an implementation period of two years before the new law comes into force in England and Northern Ireland by Summer 2021. The Scottish Government aims to implement a law for Scotland by Autumn 2021.

ACS will continue to work with the Food Standards Agency during the two-year implementation period to help retailers understand and comply with the new law. ACS will also update our Assured Advice guidance to include the new regulations. Our Food Safety and Hygiene guide covering the existing law in relation to allergens is available here.

For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact Eleanor.O’Connell@acs.org.uk or call 01252 533018