Natasha's Law (also known as the UK Food Information Amendment) came into effect on 1 October 2021. The law applies to all businesses (including schools) that prepare, pack and sell food for direct sale (PPDS foods) on the same premises. It is now mandatory to include full ingredients labelling, including allergens, on PPDS foods. The PPDS foods schools are likely to produce are fruit and breakfast pots, packaged sandwiches, burgers and salad boxes, and boxes of chips or chicken nuggets placed under a hot lamp.
Allergen legislation is not new, as the Food Information Regulations 2014 already require all food businesses, including schools, to show the allergen ingredients’ information for the food they serve. This has made it easier for schools to identify the food that pupils with allergies can and cannot eat. The extension of the law will further safeguard allergy sufferers when choosing PPDS foods, hopefully preventing fatal allergic reactions, such as the one which caused the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse in 2019.
Natasha's law was passed in 2019 to give some time before these requirements came into effect. Now the law is in force, schools should check they, and where applicable their caterers, have suitable arrangements in place to ensure compliance. Schools may find the recently updated DfE's Allergy guidance for schools and the Food Standards Agency has produced advice for schools, colleges and nurseries helpful.