Products & Services

Are You Natasha’s Law Compliant? Many Still Aren’t

It’s been more than two years since Natasha’s Law came into force, but there’s evidence that many food businesses are still struggling to comply with it.

The law, known formally as the Food Information (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2019, means all businesses in England that produce pre-packaged for direct sale (PPDS) food to customers on site must label food clearly with information on potential allergens present. These need to stand out so a customer can tell at a glance what they’re about to eat.

A 2023 study carried out by Erudus, the market leading source of accurate allergy, nutritional and technical product data, found that more than half (54%) of 116 PPDS products sampled still failed to meet the requirements by accurately declaring the presence of allergen ingredients on the labels.

The report also revealed the most common reasons for non-compliance in the sample. In a quarter of cases, no information at all had been placed on the packet, a third failed to list ingredients, two fifths didn’t emphasise allergens and a third featured illegible information.

Incorrectly labelled PPDS can not only put customers’ safety at risk, but those who don’t comply also face the possibility of large fines of £5,000 per instance and reputational damage, with longer-lasting consequences for customer numbers.

The right tool for the job
One way to achieve compliance with Natasha’s Law reliably and efficiently is by adapting your labelling processes.

Small businesses have historically opted to handwrite their labels, but these are time-consuming and risk poor legibility.

Pre-printed labels from an external supplier is one alternative, but can lack flexibility and prove costly as any changes or additions to a product’s ingredients will mean ordering a new run of labels and potentially throwing away unwanted bulk-printed batches.

An on-site printing solution avoids these issues.

To help business of all sizes comply efficiently, integrated packages are available that bundle a label printer with easy-to-use menu-management software. These make it simple to keep your labels up to date as you make changes to your menu, and multi-site solutions are available for those businesses with more than one outlet.

If you’re looking for a compliant labelling solution, a Brother printer can help make it easy, whether as a standalone device or as part of a turnkey menu-management system from one of our partners.

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