Allergy UK welcomes the announcement from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) that local authorities will be able to access grant funding to cover the burden of enforcing food allergen labelling in England.
Known as ‘Natasha’s Law’, new regulations came into force in October to provide greater consistency in the labelling of prepacked food. The new regulations apply to packaged food sold at food outlets such as cafes.
From 1 October 2021, food safety and enforcement teams must include an inspection of a business’s compliance with allergen labelling. This has increased the time required for each inspection by approximately one hour, thus increasing inspection costs.
The responsibility of enforcement is with local authorities, and the announcement confirms that Defra and the FSA will cover the costs until 31 March 2023 with a total value of £1,529,855.
Allergy UK will be monitoring the progress of local authority inspections to ensure that full compliance with the regulations are met.
You can find the list of local authorities receiving grants here.