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On 1 October 2021, the way that organisations provide allergen information on ‘pre-packed for direct sale’ (PPDS) food has changed. The changes have come about following a campaign by the parents of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who tragically died from an allergic reaction to a Pret-a-Manger baguette which contained sesame seeds to which she was severely allergic. Charities, including those running care homes, schools and hospitals, which offer PPDS food need to be aware of the changes and implement the required labelling changes. Charities with trading companies should also consider whether they provide PPDS food. The changes affect England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

PPDS is food which is packaged at the same place that it is offered to consumers and is in packaging before it is ordered or selected. Examples of PPDS food are sandwiches, salads, bakery items, and burgers or other fast food which is packaged and is kept under heat lamps and cannot be altered without removing the packaging. It can include food that a customer selects themselves (e.g. from a display unit) as well as products kept behind a counter and some food sold at mobile or temporary outlets. The Food Standards Agency has an Allergen and ingredients food labelling decision tool which can help you ascertain whether the food items you are selling are PPDS foods.

The change to labelling requirements does not apply to PPDS food sold by means of distance selling, such as food that can be purchased over the phone or on the internet. Businesses selling PPDS food this way will need to ensure that mandatory allergen information is available to the consumer before they purchase the product and also at the moment of delivery.

Labelling will be required on all food which is PPDS. This change means that allergen information will be included on the label of each item of PPDS food to enable people to make safe choices.

The label should state the name of the food (e.g. Cheese and Tomato sandwich) and then include a full list of ingredients. If any of the 14 allergens required to be declared by law are contained in the food they must be emphasised on the list, for example, by making them bold - https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/allergen-guidance-for-food-businesses.

You need to check whether your charity or trading company provides any PPDS food. Detailed guidance on the steps that you need to take as well as sector specific guidance is available from the Food Standards Agency - https://www.food.gov.uk/allergen-labelling-changes-for-prepacked-for-direct-sale-ppds-food.

To follow the work of The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, please click here - https://www.narf.org.uk/natashaslaw