Prepacked for Direct Sale Food – What You Need To Know

Pre-packed for Direct Sale Food – What You Need To Know

Prepacked for Direct Sale Food – What You Need To Know

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The requirements for food labelling for prepacked food for direct sale (known as PPDS) has changed in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

From 1st October 2021, food that is “prepacked for direct sale” now must have labelling that clearly details any allergens it contains.

The change is because of Natasha’s Law, legislation laid in Parliament in September 2019 in The Food Information (Amendment) (England) Regulation 2019 in response to the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse. Natasha, who was just 15, died after suffering an allergic reaction to a baguette purchased from Pret a Manger, unaware that it contained sesame seeds to which she was severely allergic.

Prepacked for Direct Sale Food – What You Need To Know

Prior to these changes as part of the Food Information Regulations 2014, the allergen information for PPDS food products could be provided by any means, even if just verbally by a member of staff.

However, the Government have decided as a direct result of Natasha’s death, these types of foods must have ingredient and allergen information provided on the label. This strict labelling of food will help protect consumers by providing potentially life-saving allergen information on the packaging.

Known Allergens

It is the Food Standards Agency that is responsible for both allergen labelling and providing guidance to consumers with food hypersensitivity which includes food allergy, intolerance, and coeliac disease. In the UK, food businesses must inform consumers if they use any of the 14 allergens identified by food law as the most potent and prevalent allergens as ingredients in the food and drink that they provide.

The 14 allergens are as follows:

  • celery
  • cereals containing gluten (such as barley and oats)
  • crustaceans (such as prawns, crabs, and lobsters)
  • eggs
  • fish
  • lupin
  • milk
  • molluscs (such as mussels and oysters)
  • mustard
  • peanuts
  • sesame
  • soybeans,
  • sulphur dioxide and sulphites (at a concentration of more than ten parts per million)
  • tree nuts (such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, and macadamia nuts)

What Qualifies as PPDS?

Any food that is packaged at the same place that it is offered or sold to consumers and is already in this packaging before it is ordered or selected counts as PPDS.

Items can include food that consumers choose for themselves from a display unit, as well as products kept behind a counter and some food sold at a mobile or temporary outlet.

Individually wrapped biscuits, such as those offered beside the function suite coffee machine, also fall into this category. During our courses, we also have to fully disclose any allergens included in the biscuits.

You can check if the food you offer falls into the category of PPDS by using this Government food labelling tool.

Are There Any Exceptions?

Any food that is not in packaging or is packaged after being ordered by the consumer is not classed as PPDS. These types of non-prepacked food do not require a label with name, ingredients and allergens detailed on. Allergen information must still be provided, however and this can be done through other means, e.g., orally.

Any food that is packed by one business and supplied to another business must have full labelling. The labelling should include the name of the food and a full ingredients list, with allergenic ingredients detailed on it.

Where Can I Seek Further Information and Advice?

Further information and guidance to help food businesses affected by the changes to prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) allergen labelling requirements is provided by The Food Standards Agency. The guidance aims to provide best practice guidance and regulatory advice to food businesses. This guidance should be read in conjunction with The Food Information Regulations for the country of the UK in which you operate your business. These are given below.

England – The Food Information (Amendment) (England) Regulation 2019

Wales – The Food Information (Wales) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2020

N. Ireland – The Food Information (Amendment No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020

Scotland – separate information from Food Standards Scotland regarding food labelling.

Prepacked for Direct Sale Training

If you are seeking additional training on Prepacked for Direct Sale food then we recommend you consider a Level 3 Award in Food Safety. This course covers an in-depth insight into managing food safety within a food production or food service environment. All of our food safety courses can be viewed by visiting this page.

Prepacked for Direct Sale Food – What You Need To Know

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