9 October 2019
New allergen labelling rules for food businesses which will come into effect from October 2021
From 1 October 2021, the way food businesses must provide allergen labelling information for Prepacked for Direct Sale (PPDS) food will change.
These changes will provide essential information to help people with a food allergy or intolerance to make safe choices when buying PPDS food.
Changes to the law
Currently, the law does not require PPDS food to carry allergen information on the packaging. However, allergen information must be available if the customer asks for it.
From 1 October 2021, PPDS food will need to have a label with a full ingredients list with allergenic ingredients emphasised within it.
According to the new rules, PPDS food will have to clearly display the following information on the packaging:
- name of the food,
- full ingredients list, with
- allergenic ingredients emphasised (for example in bold, italics or a different colour)
What is prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) food?
As there is no legal definition, the current Food Standards Agency (FSA) interpretation for PPDS is that it applies to foods that have been packed on the same premises from which they are being sold. Food that can fall into this category could include meat pies made on site and sandwiches made and sold from the premises in which they are made. It is expected that the customer is able to speak with the person who made or packed the product to ask about ingredients.
The FSA is currently developing a revised working interpretation of the types of food to which this legislation applies. This will give greater clarity on the types of food covered, and how they are made available to the consumer.
Further information will also be provided in FSA Technical Guidance which it aims to publish in December 2019.