Natasha's Law compliance and regulations

Natasha’s Law – Compliance and Regulation, Have You Done It Yet?

Natasha’s Law became legislation to all pre-packaged food for direct sale (PPDS) Labels, made, prepared and packaged onsite on October 1st, 2021. If you and your business has not yet heard or complied with Natasha’s Law in the UK, you are at risk and you are putting your customers at greater risk.

So, what is it and how do we comply properly?

Natasha’s Law is a new legislation requiring the full ingredients list with allergens highlighted (BOLDED) on pre-packaged food labels. This legislation now applies to not only large food manufacturers, outlets, and businesses but schools, small businesses including those selling from home and hospital foods as some examples.

In order to comply properly you need the following information on your PPDS food labels:

  • The name/description of the food
  • Full ingredients list with highlighted allergens
  • All allergens that are present within the food need to be - Bold, highlighted, underlined, in a different colour, in italics or CAPITALS.

As stated, the new law will apply to food businesses that make, package and finally sell the food to a consumer/ customer. As well as the examples of businesses above, this includes packing the goods on the same premises, or other premises such as at an event and temporary premises for example; a marquee, market stall or mobile vehicle.

So, what are the challenges?

The challenges smaller companies are facing, include cost, warehouse space, printing solutions as some examples. Smaller companies are finding it harder to comply with new legislation and laws as they do not have readily available funds or solutions to quickly adapt to these regulations and law changes. Not only this but scales and tills already in use are not readily adaptable and may not be able to apply this information to labels and labelling systems already in place.

In addition to the challenges described above, another issue businesses may face is that when applying all the new information to be compliant, it may not all fit onto the label due to the new sizing guideline from the government. This means they may have to rethink the whole label design and implement a new label, labelling type or material to legally comply.

Databases are easily implemented into labelling systems with a product’s ingredients already imported. This makes it easier for companies to comply as the information is readily available and they just have to implement the allergen bolding into their design. However, not all companies have the funds to have this in place and need to seek other options to comply with law and regulations within their labels.

Legally a company cannot sell and should not sell a food item that has not been properly labelled, such as a sandwich without allergen bolding. However, smaller companies are still doing this due to swapping to the new law as a slow process or some have not even considered that the law applies to them and their home business. These companies are at risk and putting their customers at risk.

So, what are the solutions?

Throughout the pandemic, some printing companies have applied digital printing services in order to mitigate challenges for smaller businesses making it more affordable to comply with new labelling laws and regulations.

There are now many different types of companies offering solutions to help businesses comply for example some companies are now offering till system upgrades as part of their services to help you comply.

So, can Tolarus help me?

Tolarus Software is a tailored solution created to ultimately to solve this problem. It boasts an auto-allergen bolding feature as well as label design features etc. In order to produce cost-effective on-demand and in-house printing.

This saves time, wastage and money as you can easily change your labels to suit business needs for example launching a new product and still have faith that your labels will comply.

Not only can Tolarus provide a digital software labelling solution, but they have teamed up with Wessex labels and Epson to provide bespoke, full-colour range labels that are eco-friendly (provided you choose inkjet of course!). They also offer a bureau service and graphic design services in which you can get all the help and labels printed for you should your business need it.

This is just one of the many solutions available out there so there is no reason you and your business cannot be compliant with Natasha’s Law!

If you need a little help then get in touch with us today.

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