Kathryn Gilbertson

+44 (0)1733 887621 kgilbertson@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

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Getting hospitality businesses ready for reopening: allergen management

Allergens / 23 March 2021

Following on from our first update last week about “Getting hospitality businesses ready for reopening: pest control”, Head of Regulatory, Kathryn Gilbertson, discusses the importance of ensuring your staff are re-trained and ready for reopening, particularly relating to allergen management. 

Many of your work-force may have been furloughed for several months in response to the Covid-19 restrictions and may therefore be a little bit rusty/unconfident when it comes to professional standards in the workplace. Safety is at the forefront of consumer’s minds more than ever and it is therefore important to take time to re-train your staff in readiness for reopening.

Food business operators must ensure that their staff receive training on managing allergens effectively. In particular, your staff should:

—  Know the procedures when asked to provide allergen information and the products that you are selling;

—  Be trained to accurately handle allergen information requests;

—  Be able to guarantee that allergen-free meals are served to the right customer; and

—   Know about the risk of allergen cross-contamination when handling and preparing foods and how to prevent this.

Your training may also involve preparing allergen information about dishes and loose foods.

Natasha’s Law
From 1 October 2021, the way food businesses provide allergen labelling information for pre-packed food for direct sale (PPDS) will change. This will help to protect the UK’s approx. 2million allergy sufferers.

The new law has been introduced after a UK-wide consultation following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died after suffering an allergic reaction after unknowingly eating sesame in a baguette. The new legislation is known as ‘Natasha’s Law’, will tighten the rules requiring foods that are PPDS (foods which are packaged onsite by a business before a customer selects or orders it from the same premises) to clearly display the following information on the packaging:

—  the name of the food;

—   full ingredients list; and

—  allergenic ingredients emphasised (for example in bold, italics or a different colour).

These changes are intended to give allergy sufferers greater trust in the food that they buy. Natasha’s Law will partially amend legislation around Food Information Regulations, and the equivalent law in Wales and Northern Ireland. The new PPDS rules should not change consumers and businesses having conversations about allergens.

If you need help urgently re-training your staff in time for reopening on any food safety issues and/or would like to know more about Natasha’s Law, please get in
touch.

 

This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice.  You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. For advice, get in touch with your usual Greenwoods GRM contact or complete our enquiry form below.

 

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This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. This update relates to the prevailing circumstances at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments. If you have general queries about our updates, please email: mailinglists@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

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