As you are already aware, Natasha’s Law was a new piece of legislation introduced in 2021 relating to the declaration of allergen information on pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS) food. The law takes its name from the tragic death of a teenager named Natasha, who died from an allergic reaction to undeclared sesame seeds in a pre-packaged baguette.
The new law makes it a legal requirement to clearly display information about potential allergens on food packaging for PPDS food and we wanted to share with you how we have ensured that the new regulations have been implemented at St John’s CE Primary School.
What is PPDS food?
This is food which has been packaged before the customer has chosen it. This can include:
- Any food packaged by the school and sold on the premises such as sandwiches.
- Fast food wrapped or packaged before the customer selects it.
- Potted items with lids on.
- Packed lunches for pupils on school trips.
What is not included?
Food not affected by this law includes:
- Food not in packaging.
- Food which is loose before a customer selects it and packaged afterwards.
- Loose food which was not packaged at the point it was ordered.
- Food supplied by other businesses.
What allergens are we required to label?
There are 14 allergens which must be declared by law.
The 14 allergens are as follows:
- Cereals containing gluten and wheat such as barley and oats
- Crustaceans such as crabs, prawns and lobsters
- Molluscs such as mussels, oysters, snails and squid
- Nuts such as almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, pistachio nuts and walnuts
- Sesame Seeds
- Sulphur dioxide and sulphites if they are at higher concentrations than 10mg/kg
These 14 allergens should be clearly indicated on the label using clear text such as bold, italics or highlighting the text in another colour.
What do we do to ensure that everyone is allergen safe?
To ensure the safety of our school community, we will:
- List all ingredients on the labels of any food that was made on site and packaged prior to being selected.
- Ensure we emphasise any potential allergens present each time they appear in the ingredients list, along with minimising the amount of allergenic ingredients where possible.
- Provide clear allergen information for any other food provided on site that is not subject to PPDS regulations.
- Train all staff to be aware of their responsibility to provide correct allergen information.
- Ensure that staff are trained in allergy awareness and how to respond to an allergy sufferer’s questions.
- Coach and assess our staff regularly to be sure they are confident in dealing with allergens.
- Update our Allergen and Anaphylaxis Policy to ensure that the allergen information is clear for you as well as our pupils and staff.
- Ensure all documentation is revised and conveyed to our staff.
- Engage with suppliers and build good relationships to ensure they keep updated on any product or ingredient changes quickly and inform us of them.
- Act on all updates or ingredient changes immediately to provide reassurance when buying food.
What can you do?
Although it is not required by law, to protect the staff and pupils in our school, we are asking that parents label any food potentially containing allergens you might prepare for school events. A template will be provided to help with this process.
Our allergen champion
We have designated the Medical Needs Team in school, to be our allergen champion. They will be in charge of coordinating allergy management and ensuring there is clear communication between those at the different stages of the catering ‘process flow’.
You can contact the allergen champion at email@example.com to find out more and ask any questions you may have regarding your child’s allergens and the actions we are taking to ensure their safety.
For further information on allergens please see the link to the Food Standards Agency website below.