Natasha’s Law came into effect on the 1st of October 2021 and requires food businesses to provide full ingredient lists and allergen labelling on foods prepackaged for direct sale on all premises.
Who knew in the year leading up to this legal step change with labelling and Natasha’s Law we would be mid-pandemic, but we are and here we stay for a while at least. I remember the 2 years leading up to December 2016 with the implementation of the Allergen EU labelling requirement it kept myself and many others awake at night trying to work out our safest and best approach, but am grateful for that time as it really helped to pave the way for the introduction of this new law.
Technology Leads The Way
I am in no doubt that due to the Allergen law many tech companies saw an opportunity, and quite honestly I am thankful they did, to develop e-systems that linked both the emerging e-procurement market with nutritional information, including both allergens and nutrients into a recipe development, costing system to cover all bases!
In 2018 we engaged with such a company as we were working with a client to meet the requirement of the WELL accreditation (delighted to say this was achieved) so in part several of our sites were very familiar with the workings of our chosen tech nutrition company “Nutritics” prior to the latest law coming in. It made perfect sense to engage with them on a wider bm scale along with the rest of the WSH sister companies.
I can’t say there haven’t been challenges to implement Natasha’s Law, though the one felt across all catering businesses is the current supply chain availability which creates the need for real understanding of the legislation around “substituting one brand ingredient for another, as it was not available” and it is so so important that any system we ask our teams to use has the flexibility with changing recipe ingredients easily and efficiently on the day, every day to suit current challenges.
The bmFamily💜💚 Teams Are Great
I have never been more proud of our teams and in particular our managers who whilst, may in their heads think “crikey” what they have actually embraced is many virtual training sessions, coupled with the many hours of listening to me and my team re-enforcing the message of “right brand, right ingredient every time” (thanks Monty Don, as a lover of Gardeners World, he imparts the approach of “Right plant, right place” in my head so I passed a similar mantra on and it’s stuck).
We continue to work closely with our chosen nutrition platform and are only too aware of the next challenge to the hospitality industry in April 2022, the Calorie law, so whilst I will no doubt have many more sleepless nights ahead working out our safest and best approach, at least I know the system we are using can provide the “incoming” requirements once we work out what the “grey” areas of this law means for us! I wonder what my new mantra will be then, possibly “right recipe choice, smaller hips”- well a girl can dream!