7th June 2021
From 1 October 2021, the food labelling requirements for foods which are prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) will change in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The changes will require the packaging or labels of PPDS foods sold in England to display the following information clearly:
The requirements in respect of other non-prepacked foods are unaffected by the changes.
Prepacked food is classed as ‘any single item for presentation as such to the final consumer and to mass caterers, consisting of a food and the packaging into which it was put before being offered for sale, whether such packaging encloses the food completely or only partially, but in any event in such a way that the contents cannot be altered without opening or changing the packaging’. It does not cover foods packed on the sales premises at the consumer’s request or prepacked for direct sale.
PPDS food is food that is packed before being offered for sale by the same food business to the final consumer on the same site, the same premises or if the food is offered for sale from moveable and/or temporary premises and the food is offered for sale by the same food business which packed it.
FSA guidance sets out three essential criteria for food to be considered PPDS:
Examples of PPDS foods include:
Failure by a Food Business Operator to provide the correct allergenic information on PPDS constitutes an offence and may result in a criminal prosecution. Such a failure may be prosecuted as an offence contrary to regulation 10 of FIR (as amended) or regulation 19 of the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations 2013.
A person convicted of an offence will be liable to an unlimited fine and where the offence prosecuted is the latter the court will have to apply the mandatory Sentencing Guideline for Health and Safety, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety / Hygiene Offences. Given Tesco’s fine in April 2021 for food safety offences, food businesses would be well advised to implement procedures and measures to ensure they are providing requisite allergen information to consumers.