Helping businesses stay compliant with Natasha’s Law
York-based chef Mark Morgan-Huntley is urging business owners to plan for new legislation that will affect hundreds of thousands of organisations selling food products.
From autumn 2021, ‘Natasha’s Law’ will come into force, affecting businesses and traders who produce and package food for sale. Under current rules, food prepared on the premises in which it is sold does not have to display full allergen information in writing. The new requirements apply to ‘prepacked for direct sale’ (PPDS) items, which is food that is packaged on-site at the same premises where a customer then selects or orders it. This means that each PPDS food item will need a label containing a full ingredients list once Natasha's Law comes into effect.
Using his knowledge and insight into the industry, Mark has pioneered a food labelling system called Allergen Checker, which is helping hundreds of businesses ensure they will be compliant with the new regulations. He said: “For some people who have food allergies, eating the wrong thing can mean life or death. It is estimated that two million people live with a food allergy in the UK, and around 600,000 people suffer from coeliac disease.
“As someone who has worked in catering for many years, I wanted to find a solution to this challenge for businesses in the industry. I have designed Allergen Checker to help conscientious caterers protect their customers.”
Sean Gobbi is the catering manager at the Little Green Rascals Organic Day Nursery group based in North Yorkshire, which caters for around 450 hungry little mouths a day. He has invested in Allergen Checker’s ‘Plus’ package, and says the system is ‘a lifeline’. “It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of all our children daily, as babies up until pre-school these young people do not yet have the immune system development to try and fight any substance that could be detrimental to their health. “We work with nearly 50 different dietary requirements, including some severe allergies to ingredients not on the official allergen list, so we treat this responsibility with the utmost importance. “The peace of mind Allergen Checker gives us married with the procedures we have in place already means that we can be 100 per cent confident we have done everything that we can to keep our future generation as safe as possible.”
Easy to use
Another Allergen Checker user, Nathan Kelly, who is the Head Chef at the famous stately home Castle Howard in North Yorkshire, said: “We use Allergen Checker’s software daily. It allows us to package our own range of freshly baked goods and daily prepared sandwiches while complying with all allergen guidelines and requirements. “The software is incredibly easy to use and navigate. We input ingredients directly from our suppliers and create personalised labelling. It produces a clear and informed label that can be printed on-site using your own choice of label paper.