In 2019, Natasha's Law was passed in Parliament to help protect allergy sufferers when buying pre-packaged goods. The new legislation, which is due to come into effect in October 2021, was put into place after 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse suffered a fatal allergic reaction due to undisclosed sesame seeds baked into the bread of a pre-packaged sandwich, which she was led to believe was allergen-free by the packaging.
This new law requires all food businesses, including school caterers, to ensure that all food packaged for sale on the premises has accurate and in-depth ingredient lists published on the label, including any allergens clearly visible.
These new regulations aim to prevent further fatalities caused by poorly indicated allergens. Businesses that breach these regulations can be subject to substantial and unlimited financial penalties or criminal offences.
How can schools prepare for the implementation of Natasha's Law?
Before October 1st, schools need to ensure that their food labelling process will be fully compliant with Natasha's Law. The law requires all PPDS food to have a label showing both the name and quantity of the food and a full ingredient list with the 14 declarable allergens emphasised on the ingredients list when present.
With a staggering 44% of UK adults now suffering from at least one allergy and the number of allergy sufferers on the rise in both children and adults alike, our brand-new integration with menu planning and analysis software Nutmeg couldn't have come at a better time.
By 2025, it is predicted that half of the entire EU population will suffer from allergies, and software such as Nutmeg are making a positive impact in futureproofing schools against the rising number of people affected.
Nutmeg's Allergen and Menu Planning functionalities allow for the quick identification of allergens present in your school menu whilst simultaneously helping caterers to plan a menu that complies with the nutritional requirements of EU legislation in one easy solution.
But even with proper labelling in place, some schools are opting to apply additional safeguards to their lunchtime service to ensure that potentially dangerous foods cannot be purchased by allergen sufferers at the PoS.
Fusion, our powerful cashless catering software, has built-in alerts that appear onscreen to catering staff when a student attempts to purchase a product that contains a harmful ingredient - displaying lifesaving information at the time where it is needed most.
The powerful synergy of these innovative technologies is vital for school caterers to comply with Natasha's Law and nutritional standards whilst safeguarding students and streamlining your catering service in one integrated package.