PPDS is also know as Natasha’s Law and must be followed from the 1st of October 2021. We’re working with the FSA to make this as simple as possible for you and are here to help you prepare for the upcoming changes.

30/03/21

Webinar 021

Your Guide to the New Allergy Law

We were joined by the FSA to talk all about Natasha’s Law, also known as Pre-Packed for Direct Sale (PPDS)

Coming into effect in October 2021 in England, Wales & Northern Ireland, the law will require ALL food businesses to provide full ingredient lists and allergen labelling on foods packaged for sale on the premises.

What is PPDS?

Prepacked for direct sale or PPDS is food which is packaged at the same place it is offered or sold to consumers and is in this packaging before it is ordered or selected.

It can include food that consumers select themselves (e.g. from a display unit), as well as products kept behind a counter and some food sold at mobile or temporary outlets.

What isn’t PPDS?

Any food that is not in packaging or is packaged after being ordered by the consumer. These are types of non-prepacked food and do not require a label with name, ingredients and allergens emphasised. Allergen information must still be provided but this can be done through other means, including orally.

Food packed by one business and supplied to another business. This is prepacked food and already must have full labelling, including the name of the food and a full ingredients list, with allergenic ingredients emphasised within it.

What do I have to do?

  • From 1 October 2021, the requirements for prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) food labelling will change in Wales, England, and Northern Ireland. The new labelling will help protect your customers by providing potentially life-saving allergen information on the packaging.
  • Any business that produces PPDS food will be required to label it with the name of the food and a full ingredients list, with allergenic ingredients emphasised within the list.
  • You need to check if their products require PPDS labelling and what they need to do to comply with the new rules.

What needs to be on the label?

The label needs to show the name of the food and the ingredients list with the 14 allergens required to be declared by law emphasised within it.

These need to be in line with the legal requirements that apply to naming the food and listing ingredients.

Food businesses must still ensure they comply with existing relevant food information and labelling requirements for the country they operate in.

If your business sells or supplies PPDS food you need to take action before 1 October 2021 to comply with the law.

You must check if they produce PPDS food and ensure they are ready to comply with the new requirements. Use our allergen and ingredients food labelling decision tool.

The FSA have updated their allergen guidance for food businesses to include the new requirements. More information is available in food allergen labelling and information requirements – Technical Guidance. also have information on allergen labelling for food manufacturers.

The allergen labelling requirements are outlined in the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulations 

Useful Resources:

Watch our webinar: https://www.ncass.org.uk/ncass-webinars/

FSA PPDS webpage including a ‘checker tool’ that you can use to see if you are affected: https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/introduction-to-allergen-labelling-changes-ppds

Allergen information and labelling technical guide: https://www.food.gov.uk/document/food-allergen-labelling-and-information-technical-guidance

There is allergy and intolerance e-learning on the FSA website that was revised last year to include PPDS https://allergytraining.food.gov.uk/

FAQs:

below is a list of questions we were asked during our webinar with the FSA, you will find questions from members below and the answers to their questions from the FSA.

Bruce Hutton – Will the Food allergen labelling, and Information requirements Technical Guidance be finalised at the end of this month?

The FSA’s Technical Guidance on Food allergen labelling and information requirements was revised in June 2020 with information on PPDS. You can find it here: https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/media/document/fsa-food-allergen-labelling-and-information-requirements-technical-guidance_0.pdf

More information on PPDS is available on our website at: https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/introduction-to-allergen-labelling-changes-ppds

Our online e-training on food allergy and intolerance also contains information on PPDS. You can access the training here: https://allergytraining.food.gov.uk/

The training is particularly relevant to food businesses and local authorities.

Kerry Drewett – ​if I was to buy a takeaway but I also receive a wrapped product e.g. prawn crackers… does this product need to be labelled under the new rules?

All food products sold through distance selling (such as over the internet or by telephone) already require allergen information to be available before food is ordered and when it is delivered. This will not be affected by the new regulations.

But if you ordered a packet of prawn crackers in person at the business, and it was packaged before you chose it, the packet would be PPDS and would need to be labelled.

Annette Evans – ​A little confused by the definitions …so is street food under this?

Any food business could be affected, including street food.

PPDS is food that is packed before being offered for sale by the same food business to the final consumer:

  • on the same premises; or
  • on the same site*; or
  • on other premises if the food is offered for sale from a moveable and/or temporary premises (such as marquees, market stalls, mobile sales vehicles) if the food is offered for sale by the same food business who packed it. ​

So, if you are a street food vendor and you pack your own food product before it is ordered by a consumer you are affected by the PPDS rules.

You can use our online tool to see if you produce PPDS food: https://www.food.gov.uk/allergen-ingredients-food-labelling-decision-tool

Gareth Hunter​ – We can continue to advise customers orally?

If the food is prepacked before it has been ordered by the customer and sold from the same site it was packed, a label with a full ingredient list is required with allergens emphasised within the text. You can continue to advise customers orally, in addition to the requirements for PPDS labelling.

If you produce ‘non-prepacked’ food (that is loose before a customer orders it) you can continue to advise customers as you do now, providing allergen information orally or in writing.

Kerry Drewett​ – Hi, can I ask a couple of questions, do you think this will be rolled out to all take away foods e.g., Indian, Chinese takeaway.

Any food business could be affected, so each business will need to check if they produce foods that fall under the PPDS definition.

If a business packs a product on the same site as which it is sold, and it is in packaging before customer orders it, in person, this is PPDS food and should be labelled.

All food products sold through distance selling (such as over the internet or by telephone) already require allergen information to be available before food is ordered and when it is delivered. This will not be affected by the new PPDS regulations.

The Pakora Explorer – So from a street food perspective, we use the NCASS allergen sheet and have this on display … with the message. Ask us for more information… so this food is cooked at a street food event, put in a package but does not require a label?

If the food is prepacked before it has been ordered by the customer and sold from the same site as it was packed (or is packed by the same business at different locations if you are a mobile business), a full ingredient list is required with allergens emphasised within the text.

If the food is made or packed to order, this is non-prepacked food. Allergen information for non-prepacked food can be communicated through a variety of means to suit the format of the food business. You are required to provide information about the use of the 14 allergens if they are present in a food. You are not required to provide a full ingredients list.

Two Dogs​ – what about items for delivery such as Deliveroo?

All food products sold through distance selling (such as over the internet or by telephone) already require allergen information to be available before food is ordered and when it is delivered. Food sold in this way does not require the new PPDS labelling and current rules on allergen information continue to apply.

Fidget & Bob​ – If we make pre-packed sandwiches, would we need to list all the ingredients from the bread supplied too? Or is it sufficient to declare bread plus all its allergens?

You would need to list all ingredients for the sandwich, including the bread ingredients. So ‘bread’ should be used in a list of ingredients for a sandwich, for example, with a list of the ingredients in the bread following the term ‘bread’.

The list of ingredients should be headed with the word ‘ingredients’. You should include all the ingredients of the food, in descending order of weight.

You can find more information on this in relevant legislation on labelling at: Annex VII, Part E (1) of the retained EU 1169/2011

Greg White – ​ If you are selling hot drinks how does this stand? Do we now need to put labels on the cups?

We’re assuming that any hot drinks you make, are made to order so will not come under the new PPDS rules as they will be ‘non-prepacked’. Allergen information for non-prepacked food can be communicated through a variety of means to suit the format of the food business. You are required to provide information about the use of the 14 allergens if they are present in a food. You are not required to provide a full ingredients list.

But if you are ‘packing’ hot drinks before a customer orders it, then this would come under the new PPDS rules.

​Maggie Douglas – Off topic a bit…. now as takeaway… does the food on display (e.g. cakes, sausage rolls) have to be covered at all times? (Staff wear masks) EHO wise

Loose items, such as cakes, can be displayed without covering.

Coffee Bay Mobile​ – If we make them offsite and transport them unpackaged -and package them on site – do we need a label?

If the food is prepacked before it has been ordered by the customer and sold from the same site it was packed, a full ingredient list is required with allergens emphasised within the text.

But any food that is only packed once ordered by the customer is non-prepacked food. You can choose how to provide information on the 14 allergens e.g. orally or in writing.

Fidget & Bob – ​What are the obligations on suppliers to advise their customers if they change the ingredients in their products?

Food businesses supplying food and food ingredients, from operator to operator, have a duty to pass accurate food information down the supply chain. Suppliers should ensure other food business they supply to operators are provided with sufficient information to enable them, where appropriate, to meet their obligations ( as laid out in Article 8(8) of retained EU 1169/2011).

Greg White – ​Really awesome coffee, how would we fall when selling hot drinks? Is a lid cased as packaged?

We’re assuming that any hot drinks you make, are made to order so will not come under the new PPDS rules as they will be ‘non-prepacked’. Allergen information for non-prepacked food can be communicated through a variety of means to suit the format of the food business. You are required to provide information about the use of the 14 allergens if they are present in a food. You are not required to provide a full ingredients list. So you should continue to provide the allergen information as you do now.

But if you are ‘packing’ hot drinks before a customer orders it, then this would come under the new PPDS rules.

Stephen Hoctor – ​Is sharing a hospitality menu with a lead Booker sufficient enough to be classed as prebooking in advance when individual consumers have not seen the menu selection?

If the food has been ordered beforehand in bulk by a person or organisation on behalf of other individuals, then the new PPDS rules do not apply. (To note food would only be PPDS if it is sold to the consumers from the same premises it is packed on – and there needs to be a physical presence between both parties.)

davidmills1000​ – A baker that supplies us with unpackaged goods clearly advises us of the specific recipes and allergens. However, they also state that the kitchens they produce from are compact and as such cross ​contamination may occur. How should we sign this?

Any information provided by your ingredient suppliers on the potential unintentional presence of allergens should be passed on to your customers. So, you should pass on any ‘precautionary allergen information’ such as ‘may contain…’ or ‘not suitable for…’.

The FSA recommends that information on the unintended presence of allergens for PPDS foods is communicated on the packaging or label to ensure that the allergic consumer is aware of the risk. But you can also provide this ‘precautionary information’ in another form such as on a sign or orally by staff.

This type of information should only be provided if a real risk of allergen cross-contact has been identified following a thorough risk assessment that cannot be removed through risk management actions, for example segregation and cleaning.

Tom Yates – We sell cheesecake pots alongside pizzas. All of which are currently pre ordered but we are hoping to bring these to events when we can. where do we stand?

If the food is prepacked by you before it has been ordered by the customer and is sold from the same site it was packed, a full ingredient list is required with allergens emphasised within the text. This also applies to food offered for sale from a moveable and/or temporary premises (such as marquees, market stalls, mobile sales vehicles) if the food is offered for sale by the same food business who packed it.

Joanna Rees​ – would meals being sent out for community meals service (meals on wheels) that are prepared and sent out hot fall under the new rules?

I would assume that your service users are identified well in advance of the food being prepared and packed, and that they specify what they would like beforehand. This would be equivalent of placing an order, which would therefore not be packed before it is ordered. This means this is not prepacked nor prepacked for direct sale (PPDS). This would be non-prepacked food that is sold via distance means. For this allergen information must be made available before the food is ordered and at the moment of delivery. You can contact your local authority to talk through the specifics of how you operate and what rules apply to you.

Coffee Bay Mobile – If we sell a homemade Brownie – which is unwrapped – we do not need a label. But if we sell the same Brownie prepacked in a transparent bag – we do need a label -It’s the same Brownie

The same product can fall under different allergen information rules depending on the context. So yes, if you package a brownie following a customer’s order you do not need a PPDS label (but you should still be able to provide allergen information in a manner of your choosing). But if you prepack the brownie before it is ordered then it will need a label.

Stephen Hoctor​ – Is sharing a hospitality menu with a lead Booker sufficient enough to be classed as prebooking in advance when individual consumers have not seen the menu selection? ​i.e. if a Hospitality Caterer is looking to prepare and pre-pack menu items in advance of service.

If a lead booker chooses products on behalf of attendees, then this is classed as food made to order and will not need PPDS labels. You should still make allergen information available to the attendees.

However, if you agree to provide a range of food, but the booker does not make specific choices, then you could consider that the choice of food does not happen until the individual consumer selects it – this would need a label.

You can contact your local authority to talk through the specifics of how you operate and what rules apply to you.

Luke Rind – ​Do you have a to put percentages on the info?

You must show the percentage of an ingredient if it is:

  • highlighted by the labelling or a picture on a package, for example ‘extra cheese’
  • mentioned in the name of the product, for example ‘cheese and onion pasty’
  • normally connected with the name by the consumer, for example fruit in a summer pudding

See the food labelling and packaging guidance on Gov.UK for more information.