To help protect consumers and allergy sufferers, the government has announced that a new law relating to the packaging of pre-prepared food products is being introduced in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
How is food and allergen labelling law changing?
It will now be required for any food produce that is pre-made on site to be labelled with its full ingredients and allergens, like other pre-packaged food does already.
Before the law change, this information wouldn't need to be displayed if the food is made on the premises, with just an 'ask for allergens' sign being displayed instead. The change is designed to protect consumers.
Why is "Natasha's Law" being introduced?
There have been several deaths and many hospitalisations in recent years as a result of allergic reactions to food products. One of these was 15 year old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died in 2016 after an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger sandwich which didn't have specific ingredient or allergen labelling. Her parents have subsequently campaigned for a change in the law to help protect other people who suffer from allergies.
It is hoped that the new requirements will prevent deaths and allergic reactions, and provide clearer information to customers.
When is the law being introduced?
Businesses have been given a two year implementation period, meaning that they need to be complying with the new regulation by Summer 2021.
What should I do next?
Crown Labels recommend that any business subject to this new regulation starts to implement changes as soon as possible - it is far easier to prepare for the change rather than have to rush at the last minute. It also gives opportunity to find the best option that works for you.
In addition, it makes business sense to do so sooner rather than later. Consumers are increasingly focused on their dietary requirements, and will look for shops which provide labelling clarity. 1 in 4 respondents to a recent survey said that they or a relative had previously had an allergic reaction to food when eating out.¹
This new food allergen and ingredient labelling regulation is a great opportunity to build trust with customers and strengthen your brand.
Where can I get food allergen and ingredient labels?
Crown Labels are here to help you prepare for these changes. We already have a range of food allergen warning labels that are suitable for pre-packed food products, and have a full range of capabilities to quickly print ingredients labels in a size which suits your packaging.
What options do I have?
Find a standard label printer to order suitable pre-printed ingredient and allergen labels in bulk. This is more suitable for businesses who have a consistent product range and steady sales.
Source generic labels from online retailers such as Amazon. This could work if you have products that have few ingredients, but are unlikely to be suitable for most cases. See our range of food allergen labels on Amazon ↗
Buy a thermal printer and blank labels in order to print your ingredient labels in-house. This may be the best option if your product range or ingredients are frequently changing and you need flexibility. See more about Thermal Transfer printing >
Work with Crown Labels to find a solution catered to your needs. With our range of print processes, quick turnaround, and variety of pre-designed label options, we're able to quickly and cost effectively meet your unique needs.
¹ Source: Food Standards Agency