Updated Food information legislation EU1169/2011, now referred to as “Natasha’s Law”, has been introduced and comes into effect this October. Natasha, 15 years old, died of an allergic reaction on a BA flight, after eating a sandwich from a Pret a Manger at the airport. The key aspect is that food packaged on site for immediate consumption is to display ingredients and allergen information.
Most of the food provided to your pupils/students is not packaged but served over the counter, direct to the customer. Mellors procedure is to ensure all customers that have food allergens or intolerances advise us of their dietary needs supported by medical certification. Customer needs are then fully accommodated, which may include face to face advice and or specific food made for that child.
Natasha’s law adds further support to this process. In Mellors schools, items such as sandwiches, boxed salads and fruit pots are made and packaged on-site. From 1st October these will be supported by labels showing ingredients and allergen information.
We, like you, are aware that children don’t always read labels, so it is imperative that the current system of acquiring knowledge of children’s allergen / food intolerances, is maintained with verbal advise and specific menus produced as needed.
We are very proud of the fact that Mellors is a fresh food company, and we do not buy factory-made sandwiches/salads. To ensure this quality is maintained, we have invested in a new menu/food production & nutritional IT system called Saffron. We are currently testing the system in a selection of Mellors schools, with roll out planned ready for October. We are also investing in new labelling software (PlanGlow) which will interface with our nutritional software (Saffron) and produce the necessary allergen and ingredient labels for our products made on-site.
The complexities of supply chain and ingredient analysis mean that we are doing a huge amount of work with our nominated suppliers to ensure quality ingredient information is provided. There is a rationalisation of ingredients to ensure that label information integrity is controlled. As an example, Mellors are now nominating specific sandwich loaves from our baker for our sandwiches. Therefore, a catering manager cannot source an alternative bread that may have ingredients that corrupt the label information to the customer. This is a new level of discipline that all Mellors staff will have to embrace.