Labelling law – new FSA requirements introduced

Posted on: January 30th, 2020

The Food Standard Agency (FSA) has launched a six week UK-wide consultation to commence in January 2020 in line with their proposed updates to the technical guidance. There will be a particular focus on allergen information.

Product labelling is an ongoing focus for the FSA, as legislative changes were proposed in 2019 following the death of a teenager from an allergic reaction to sesame in a product she had consumed. The new legislation applies to prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) food only. PPDS is where the food is already packaged when the consumer selects or orders it, and is sold in the same place it was packaged in.

The FSA’s consultation period is a chance for businesses and enforcement authorities to provide feedback on the legislative changes and understand the updated food allergen labelling guidance.

From 1 October 2021, a list of ingredients highlighting any allergens will need to be present on all PPDS foods, This is a simple change encouraging consistency with labelling requirements on food sold in supermarkets.

The updates will be relevant to food businesses offering the sale of PPDS food, industry representatives or enforcement authorities. The likely impact is familiarisation costs for businesses and local authorities on the new legislation and any associated responsibilities.

With an 18 month preparation period, there is plenty of time for these new requirements to be implemented. It is anticipated similar guidance will be introduced in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. It is important for any businesses or enforcement authority to think ahead and consider what may need to be altered or introduced prior to October 2021. Watch this space for the results of the consultation.

For more information, please contact a member of the Commercial and Intellectual Property team or fill in the enquiry form.