Food labelling might seem like a mundane topic, but it is a critical issue that affects everyone. The food we consume is not only a source of nourishment but also has the potential to cause harm. As we celebrate Allergy & Asthma Awareness Month, it’s an excellent opportunity to discuss the importance of clear and accurate food labelling, particularly for individuals with food allergies and dietary requirements.
According to Allergy UK, an estimated 2 million people in the UK have a food allergy, and the number is on the rise. Food allergies are a potentially life-threatening condition that can cause severe reactions, including anaphylaxis, which can lead to hospitalisation and even death. The cause of food allergies is not entirely clear, but researchers believe that both genetic and environmental factors play a role.
For individuals with food allergies, correct food labelling can mean the difference between a safe and enjoyable meal or a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. In response to this issue, the UK government introduced Natasha’s Law in 2019 which went into effect on 1st October 2021, which requires food businesses to include full ingredient and allergen labelling on all pre-packaged food. This includes foods such as sandwiches, salads, and ready meals that are made and packaged on-site before being sold. This law was enacted following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, a teenager who died from an allergic reaction after consuming a sandwich that did not have adequate allergen labelling.
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But correct food labelling is not just about allergies!
It is also about making informed decisions about the food we consume. Let’s be honest; who hasn’t been confused by a food label at some point? The ingredients list, nutritional information, and serving size can be overwhelming, particularly for those trying to make healthy choices. Clear and consistent food labelling can help individuals make informed decisions about the food they eat.
People with specific dietary requirements, such as those who follow gluten-free or lactose-free diets, also benefit from correct food labelling. According to Coeliac UK, an estimated 1 in 100 people in the UK have coeliac disease, an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Individuals with coeliac disease must follow a strict gluten-free diet, and they rely on accurate food labelling to ensure that they are consuming safe foods.
Additionally, people with lactose intolerance, a condition in which the body cannot digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products, also rely on detailed food labelling to make knowledgeable choices regarding the food they consume. According to the NHS, approximately 5-15% of the UK population has lactose intolerance.
This is where Labl.it comes in!
Labl.it is an innovative food labelling tool that helps businesses comply with Uk food labelling regulations and make accurate and consistent labels for their products. The bolded essential information, such as allergens, nutrition, and ingredients, makes it easier for individuals with allergies and dietary requirements to identify safe foods. It’s a smart way to ensure that the information provided on food labels is easy and precise, keeping consumers safe!
The clever piece of hardware and software isn’t just designed to protect consumers, but also is beneficial to improve overall business success. The all-in-one labelling solution allows you to automate your labelling process with industry technology and reduce risks associated with handwritten labels. Labl.it has proven to boost kitchen profitability, minimise food wastage, reduce admin time and of course increase compliance & safety within your kitchen.
In summary, food labelling is a critical issue that affects everyone. In the UK, there are specific regulations that businesses must follow to ensure that food labels are accurate, clear and easy to understand. Labl.it’s innovative food labelling system helps businesses stay compliant and organised in their kitchens and more importantly, ensures their customers are safe!