The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published updated technical guidance for allergen labelling following changes for pre-packed for direct dale food.
According to FSA, these changes complement existing labelling rules on providing allergen information to consumers.
The changes, which are now enshrined in legislation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, will come into effect from 1 October 2021.
The updated technical guidance now reflects the legislative changes and will help businesses and enforcement authorities understand the new requirements.
The changes were introduced after an earlier UK-wide consultation following the death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse as a result of an allergic reaction to sesame in a baguette she had eaten.
The new requirements only apply to food known as prepacked for direct sale (PPDS), which is packaged onsite by a business before a customer selects or orders it from the same premises.
It means that PPDS food will be required to have a label with an ingredients list and the allergens contained emphasised on the list. This brings the way allergen information is provided for it in line with other prepacked food and reduces consumer confusion.
The FSA will be engaging with industry, enforcement authorities over the coming months to raise awareness with business as they work towards implementing the new requirements that come into effect later next year.
“Consistent and accurate labelling can be life-saving for those living with a food allergy or hypersensitivity. These new measures are vital as they provide information to hypersensitive consumers in a form that is familiar and convenient for them,” said FSA Chief Executive, Emily Miles.
‘Food businesses and enforcement authorities need to be ready for the rules coming into effect in October 2021 which the updated technical guidance on food allergen labelling will help them to do.”