It’s important to understand the impact of food labelling when it comes to the UK. There are specific requirements in place whether it has to do with allergens, organic labelling, and/or nutrition. There are new regulations in place to help with food labelling and this is known as Natasha’s Law.

Allergen Labelling

The simple goal of this process is to have a way to highlight any of the 14 key allergens in pre-packaged food items. These allergens need to be cited on the labelling in bold. The label should be easy to read and accessible before eating the food.

There are regulations in place when it comes to how foods are packed and produced when on-site. This can be something as simple as meat that is sold in delis or even products that are sold in cafes. These products can be left out and will not require packaging/labelling. However, it’s important for customers to still be aware of what the allergens are in the food. Natasha’s Law has come in during 2021 and demands businesses label all foods and their ingredients when made on premises. This includes sandwiches and other similar products. If you are in need of food labels but are looking for something unique then you might want to invest in bespoke labels, 

Defining Natasha’s Law

Natasha’s Law is all bout food labelling and how to make sure it is done the right way in England. It started in 2021 and is focused on following what other nations are doing. The goal is to take what happened to Natasha Ednan-Laperouse as a lesson. She had a deadly allergic reaction to a Manger baguette that was sold with sesame seeds in it. She was not aware of that being the case because the product itself was not labelled. Now foods are going to have to be labelled with all of their ingredients including key allergens.

The FSA has taken the time to pinpoint what is required and what is not when it comes to Natasha’s Law. This was published in October 2019 with a transition period for all involved.

When is It best To use Precautionary Allergen Labelling?

The best time to start labelling is when there are foods that have allergens and/or loads of ingredients. It is important to have all of these listed clearly to ensure customers know what they are getting as soon as it is in front of them.

A good example would be biscuits. It is best to have stickers on the packaging to make sure all of the allergens are listed in a simple to understand manner.

What are the Key Allergens?

14 allergens exist that are noted for being key. If the product has one or more of these allergens then it has to be listed on the packaging.

These include:

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  •  Celery/Celeriac
  • Crustaceans
  • Gluten Cereals
  •  Mustard
  •  Molluscs
  •  Sesame Seeds
  • Peanuts
  •  Nuts
  • Milk
  • Soybeans
  • Sulphur Dioxide/Sulphites (10mg per kg/10ml per litre)

Nutrition Labelling

It was in 2016 when companies were required to start listing all key nutritional information on repacked food items. These were simple requirements that were required for everything except food supplements and mineral waters. Those have separate requirements.

PARNUT foods were to be manufactured with specific nutritional requirements including baby food, baby formula, medical food products, diet replacement meals, and more.

It is important to note pre-packaged foods have to list all key nutritional information on the packaging. This includes having voluntary information on the front of the package. The goal is to let customers know what they are eating before they buy it or make contact.