Food labelling gives customers the information that they need to make safe purchasing decisions.
It is really important that the food information given by establishments is 100% correct, however, this can be a huge task. Managing nutritional information, allergens, accurate ingredient declarations, prices and more can be overwhelming for food business operators whether they are large or small. Food labelling requirements differ between the retail and hospitality sectors. The direction of travel for both sectors seems very clear as more and more labelling requirements are brought out every few years to address the many issues consumers have with food, whether it be lifestyle, dietary, religion, nutrition or safety.
The recently published National Food Strategy suggests that almost one in three people over 45 in England are clinically obese. Only time will tell whether food labelling will make a significant impact on this figure, and as part of the toolkit, the Government has introduced a regulatory change to introduce Out of Home Mandatory Calorie Labelling (OOH Mandatory Calorie Labelling).
OOH Mandatory Calorie Labelling
The introduction of calorie labelling in the out of home sector is being introduced in April 2022. Restaurants, cafes, bars, cinemas and anywhere else serving food will have to add calorie labels on menus at the point of choice.
This also includes on display menus in-store, or on third-party delivery apps and physical menus.
The government is implementing this as a means to attempt to reduce the rate of obesity in the UK. They are hoping that people will make healthier choices if they know more about the food they are ordering. Restaurant portion sizes tend to be larger, and people eat around 200 more calories a day when they are eating out. It is known that weight gain takes place when someone is in a caloric surplus over a long period of time.
Prepacked for direct sale allergen labels
Natasha’s Law, also known as The Food Information Regulations 2019 will come into effect on 1st October 2021 in England.
Natasha’s Law requires all prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) goods to be labelled with full ingredient lists with allergens emphasised.
Natasha’s Allergy Research Foundation found 88% of the public fully support Natasha’s Law and making it a priority for food retailers and customers with the ever-growing rate of individuals with allergies, but also intolerances too.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA), on the 1st of October will publish guidelines to support businesses to adapt to Natasha’s Law legislation change.
Food safety activists are challenging hospitality to improve food safety in the UK. In 2017, Owen Carey died when he had an allergic reaction to a burger he ate at a popular restaurant after he had been assured it was safe for him to eat. Owen’s family are raising awareness for ‘Owen’s Law’, calling for all allergens to be present on menus and at the point of choice for every dish at restaurants. Owen’s Law calls for four changes to be made:
- Allergen information available menus for each dish
- Mandatory for all waiting staff to ask customers if they have any allergies
- Mandatory, high-quality allergen training to all hospitality staff
- An allergy anaphylaxis register of deaths that records who died from what allergies to help medical staff correctly diagnose an allergic reaction and respond accordingly
Owen’s Law has not yet been discussed in parliament, however, could materialise over the next few years.
NT Assure’s Food Labelling Services
If you are a retailer or manufacturer looking for professional guidance to label your products, our technical services team can check your existing pack copies for legal compliance or write new ones for you.
Smart Supplier is our product specification management solution, managing all your product data in one place, the information on your packaging is derived from Smart Supplier.
Smart Supplier is a specification management solution, it provides real-time food information ensuring labels are live, accurate and validated. It has established itself as the industry standard and has many features that help food business operators communicate with suppliers to increase collaborative working.
If you’re interested in our product labelling services, get in touch on 01933 272089 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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