How can cafés benefit from the Marka food labelling solution?

6 May 2021

How are food labelling regulations changing in 2021?

The UK Food Information Amendment, also known as Natasha’s Law, comes into effect from October 2021 and will require all food businesses including cafe’s to provide full ingredient lists and allergen labelling on foods pre-packaged for direct sale on the premises. The new food regulations are being introduced to protect allergy sufferers and give them confidence in the food they buy.

What challenges do small businesses, like cafés, face?

Café employees responsible for labelling foods that are PPDS will need to know exactly what ingredients are in them, so clear communication between them and kitchen staff prepping the foods as well as awareness of the ingredients in pre-produced components such as bread, pasta or ready-made salad dressings, for example, will need to be available.

Having a main database where information about ingredients in dishes can be saved and updated, and linked into a convenient printing system, would help streamline the process and prevent any confusion or error. Above all, it is important to make everyone working in your café aware of the new legislation.

Providing updated training on allergen legislation to staff and reminding them of the business’s responsibilities in food safety before the new legislation comes into force is a vital step. Checking that you have systems and procedures set up that will accurately label foods that are PPDS in advance will also ensure your business is compliant when the new food regulations become law in October.

Food safety can help your cafe to maintain profits and minimise wastage as it acts as a benchmark for quality control. Much less food will be wasted once your staff are fully trained in food safety and hygiene best practices. Two additional benefits are that your kitchen will become more cost-effective, and your reputation as a provider of high-quality food will improve.

Labelling requirements

The label needs to show the name of the food and the ingredients list with the 14 allergens required to be declared by law emphasised within it. These need to be in line with the legal requirements that apply to naming the food and listing ingredients. Food businesses must still ensure they comply with existing relevant food information and labelling requirements for the country they operate in.

Penalties

Natasha’s Law will be effective starting October 2021. The new rules will be regulated by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and apply to all food business operators, including small businesses. Failure to comply with the new regulations will attract substantial financial penalties and such a breach may carry a criminal offence.

Businesses failing to follow the new rules could face a fine of up to £5,000 per offence.

How can Marka help?

Marka allows businesses to reduce costs by offering a simple way to print your allergen and nutrition labels. The great quality hardware is affordable and can be bought outright or paid on finance and the software operates on a clear monthly subscription model, giving you access to the app and our first-class support.

With an easy to use app for store colleagues and a powerful administration tool to manage your ingredients and product data, Marka is the perfect way to produce and print your allergen and nutrition labels on pre-packed for direct sale foods. Fully comply with Natasha’s Law and keep your customers safe.

Contact us to learn more.