Natasha’s Law: The New Rules for Food Packaging

Pre-packaged food will require additional information about its ingredients to keep people safe. Ensure your business is compliant with the latest food packaging regulations with Takeaway Packaging.

As of October 2021, all pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS) food is required to clearly display key information about the food and its ingredients under Natasha’s Law. The new legislation is designed to protect people with allergies or intolerances and provide a safer way for everyone to purchase pre-packaged food, so how does this affect the hospitality industry?

What Is Natasha’s Law?

The UK Food Information Amendment, otherwise known as “Natasha’s Law”, requires food businesses to provide a full list of ingredients and allergen information on all pre-packaged foods for direct sale on their premises. It follows the implementation of allergen legislation in 2014, which requires all businesses to tell customers if any food they retail contains any of these 14 major allergens.

Under the new packaging rules, PPDS food needs to clearly display the following information on the packaging:

  • The name of the food
  • A full ingredients list with allergenic ingredients highlighted (for example, in bold, italics or a different colour).

These changes will apply to businesses in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. If your business sells any form of pre-packaged food or drinks, you’ll need to update your packaging to remain compliant with the latest food packaging regulations. So why is this important change being introduced?

Why Is Natasha’s Law Being Introduced?

The new legislation aims to help people with known or suspected allergies buy food with confidence. It’s estimated that a third of the UK population suffer from at least one allergy, so making this change helps protect a vast number of people and ensure they know exactly what they’re purchasing and consuming from takeaway food businesses.

This amendment to the UK food packaging law was brought about by the parents of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the teenager who tragically died after suffering an allergic reaction to an undeclared ingredient in a pre-packed meal. The stricter rules about food packaging implemented under the government’s latest regulations will help prevent food-related allergic reactions.

While deaths from food allergies are rare and decreasing in the UK, hospital admissions for food-induced anaphylaxis are rising. So to mitigate the number of admissions to hospitals for avoidable allergic reactions, allergen information is to be made clearer.

How Can You Ensure Compliance with Natasha’s Law?

The importance of detailed food labelling has been made abundantly clear. Yet studies have found that as many as eight in ten food businesses feel unprepared for the latest amendment to food labelling laws, with small, independent businesses feeling the strain more than larger chains. So how can you achieve compliance?

  • Add Stickers to Your Food Packaging — Unbranded packaging is cost-effective, but it relies on the business to add the food name and ingredients list (with the allergens highlighted) to the packaging manually. You can add stickers containing the required information to your food packaging.
  • Create Custom Packaging — If you sell large quantities of the same food and drinks items, a productive and cost-effective way to include all necessary information would be to create custom packaging for specific menu items. This will create consistency across your entire range of food and drinks products and ensure that your brand is compliant with regulations.
  • Notify Customers about Allergens — Your business will still need to conform to previous allergen legislation, so continue to inform customers about allergens in your food and drinks products. You should also ensure that clear signage remains in place to keep customers in the know.

If you’re unsure whether your food requires allergen labelling, use this allergen and ingredients food labelling tool to help you make the right choice for each of your menu items. You can also download official resources to ensure your business complies with Natasha’s Law.

Natasha’s Law and Food Packaging

If you’d like to know more about how we can help your business with custom or branded food packaging, get in touch with our team. We can design packaging that supports your customers’ safety and makes compliance with food packaging regulations easier. You can also visit our online shop to find stock food and drinks packaging that’s safe for use for all kinds of takeaways.

Does your business need to update its packaging to comply with the latest food regulations changes? Contact our team for a free packaging design quote or visit our online shop to discover eco-friendly packaging solutions.