Natasha’s Law: What It Means for Food Businesses.

Natasha's Law: What It Means for Food Businesses.

In 2016, 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse tragically passed away after suffering an allergic reaction to a sandwich she had purchased at an airport. This devastating incident brought to light the lack of allergen information available to consumers, particularly those with food allergies. As a result, the UK government passed Natasha’s Law, which will require food businesses to provide detailed allergen information on pre-packaged foods. In this blog, we will explore the details of Natasha’s Law and what it means for food businesses.

What is Natasha’s Law?

Natasha’s Law, which came into effect on October 1, 2021, requires food businesses to label all pre-packaged foods with a full list of ingredients and allergen information. This includes foods that are pre-packaged on-site, such as sandwiches, as well as those that are pre-packaged elsewhere and sold on-site.

The new law requires that the allergen information is clear and easily visible to consumers. This can be achieved through various means, such as labeling on the packaging, providing allergen information on a menu, or through a sign that directs consumers to where the information can be found.

Which allergens must be labeled?

Under Natasha’s Law, food businesses must provide information on 14 major allergens, which are:

  1. Celery
  2. Cereals containing gluten (such as wheat, rye, and barley)
  3. Crustaceans (such as prawns, crabs, and lobsters)
  4. Eggs
  5. Fish
  6. Lupin
  7. Milk
  8. Molluscs (such as clams, mussels, and oysters)
  9. Mustard
  10. Nuts (such as almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts)
  11. Peanuts
  12. Sesame seeds
  13. Soybeans
  14. Sulphur dioxide and sulphites (at concentrations of more than 10mg/kg)

What does it mean for food businesses?

Natasha’s Law will require food businesses to make significant changes to their labeling practices. All pre-packaged foods will need to be labeled with a full list of ingredients and allergen information, which may involve investing in new labeling equipment or software.

Additionally, food businesses will need to train staff to understand the new labeling requirements and be able to provide accurate information to customers. Businesses will also need to ensure that the allergen information is kept up to date, which may involve changing ingredients or suppliers.

Failure to comply with Natasha’s Law can result in fines or even imprisonment, so it is important for food businesses to take the new regulations seriously and make the necessary changes.

In conclusion, Natasha’s Law is an important step towards ensuring that consumers have access to accurate and clear allergen information. By requiring food businesses to label all pre-packaged foods with a full list of ingredients and allergen information, consumers with food allergies can make more informed choices about what they eat. While the new regulations may present challenges for food businesses, it is an essential step towards creating a safer and more inclusive food industry.

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