Everything you should know about food safety compliance

For anyone selling food, adhering to the standards laid out by the FSA are crucial in keeping both you and customers safe. The FSA has extensive guides on how best to manage food safety, enabling you to continue working with food.

One of the biggest changes to food compliance in recent years came into effect as of October 2021. Any business in the UK must clearly label all foods packed or produced on their premises with a complete list of ingredients and allergens to be compliant with this new law, dubbed Natasha’s Law. Allergens must be emphasised with a different font (for example, bold letters, CAPITALS, or a larger font).

The basic key to effective compliance with these new regulations is ensuring that your information is clear and easy to understand for anyone visiting your premises, there can’t be any confusion on the allergen labels for what’s in your PPDS (pre-packaged for direct sale) goods.

How do you comply with allergen food safety regulations?

In a UK government press release, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Food Standards Agency, and The Rt Hon Lord Zac Goldsmith stated:

“‘Natasha’s Law’ will be introduced to protect allergy sufferers and give them confidence in the food they buy.”

This new law applies to all food providers in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, who sell PPDS food. PPDS food is food packaged and sold in the same place in which it’s made. It’s also crucial that the food is packaged prior to being selected and sold.

There’s a good chance you’ve purchased PPDS products in the past, even if you didn’t recognise it at the time. Examples include sandwiches and bakery products that are packaged on site prior to purchase. This extends to delis, often found in supermarkets, who sell freshly made pizzas, rotisserie chickens, salad or pasta.

If the food is made per your request, in front of you, and then packaged, it’s no longer considered PPDS and the assumption is that you’ll inform whoever’s making your food of your allergy and therefore doesn’t require an allergen label.

Staying compliant with food safety law


Do you need help with complying to food labelling standards? With recent changes in food safety legislation, many businesses are looking for a practical and affordable solution.

Our dedicated team are here to help and advise you on how our new product can assist in any issues you may have.

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What do allergen labels require?

Previously, it was ok to maintain a traditional menu book or folder which customers could request to see the allergens in the food sold on your premises or to advertise directly in stores or restaurants. However, as of October 2021 and the introduction of Natasha’s Law, it is your responsibility to inform your customers by clearly labelling your products. This is designed to protect both your business and your customers.

Food safety compliance states that the allergen label needs to feature the name of the food, followed by the ingredients list with 14 food allergens emphasised within the list. It’s required by law that the allergens are labelled and listed correctly and the consequences of non compliance with food safety law can be enforced by local authorities.

What are the 14 food allergens?

In keeping with compliance standards, if any of the 14 food allergens are present in your food you have to display them clearly and prominently within the ingredients list, but what are the 14 food allergens you have to be aware of?

In alphabetical order, they comprise of:

  • Celery
  • Cereals containing gluten (e.g. wheat, barley, oats)
  • Crustaceans (e.g. prawns, crab, lobster)
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Lupin (a type of legume)
  • Milk
  • Molluscs (e.g. mussels and oysters)
  • Mustard
  • Peanuts
  • Sesame
  • Soybeans
  • Sulphur dioxide/sulphites
  • Tree nuts (e.g. almonds, hazelnuts, cashews)

How Marka can help compliance teams adhere to food safety regulations

While Natasha’s Law will help and reassure the 2 million people living with food allergies across the UK, Marka gives you the tools necessary to help your business comply with these new rules. Ultimately leading to customers with allergies being more confident in purchasing your products, which will happier customers and higher sales!

See our latest news for updates on how we can help you and how our label makers take the stresses and complications out of food safety labelling.

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