“Natasha’s Law”

Welcome to end allergen confusion that puts customers at risk - Compliance will be easier than many food businesses think

26 June 2019 - A new law that will require food businesses to include full ingredients labelling on pre-packaged foods for direct sale (PPDS) will put a welcome end to the current confusion around food allergen labelling. And Navitas, the food safety experts believe that most food service businesses should be able to comply with the new legislation well in advance of the two-year implementation period designed to give businesses time to adapt to the changes.

Announced yesterday by Environment Secretary Michael Gove, the new law follows the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who suffered a fatal allergic reaction and a Food Standards Agency consultation on the issue of allergen labelling. It will come into force in England and Northern Ireland by summer 2021.

However, Navitas Group believes complying with the new legislation that will create consistency in how allergens are labelled on PPDS food will be easier and quicker than many businesses think.

Ben Gardner, CEO of Navitas Group comments: “I know many foodservice businesses who are being proactive and are already getting to grips with allergen management in their kitchens. Others are concerned about complying with full ingredient labelling and the costs involved. However, becoming compliant is straightforward and not prohibitively expensive even for smaller businesses. For a stand-alone allergen labelling solution, we’re talking about far less than the cost of a cup of coffee a day.

He adds: “Implementing an allergen labelling system including training takes a matter of hours and our customers find they are full up to speed with it in just one day. So compliance is actually easier and cheaper than many people think.”

Research previously conducted by Navitas has highlighted how current food allergen labelling regulations put customers at risk. It found that almost half (48%) of those who said they look for allergen information when eating out were not fully aware of the different labelling regulations around food freshly prepped and packaged in a food outlet for direct sale (PPDS) and food pre-packed offsite.

While 52% of people who look for allergen information do understand the different allergen labelling regulations, 23% thought that the labelling regulations were the same and 25% were unsure whether the rules differed.

Navitas can support foodservice businesses looking to improve allergen management within their kitchens with an allergen labelling solution and also online training courses.

• Navitas allergen labelling solution - The Navitas food allergen and date labelling printer and software solution allows foodservice businesses to print bespoke labels with specific information on the allergens present, together with the date and time the food item was prepared. Navitas software keeps a record of all label information and the details of the staff member who produced it, along with a date/time stamp ensuring transparency, traceability and accountability.

• Allergy awareness training – Staff knowledge and education are key and Navitas’ allergy awareness training is designed to give businesses a full understanding of the foods that may trigger allergic reactions and the precautions they need to take to guarantee their customers avoid these. The online courses are aimed at anyone in the hospitality industry who prepares, serves or sells food.

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