Food labelling update
What food businesses need to know about the new labelling for 'pre-packed for direct
sale' (PPDS) food
From 1 October 2021 the requirements for pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS) food labelling will change in Wales, England, and Northern Ireland. The new labelling will help to protect consumers by providing potentially life-saving allergen information on the packaging. Any business that produces PPDS food will be required to label it with the name of the food and a full ingredients list, with allergenic ingredients emphasised within the list. Businesses need to check if their products require PPDS labelling and what they need to do to comply with the new rules.
What is PPDS food?
PPDS is food which is packaged at the same place it's offered or sold to consumers, and is in this packaging before it is ordered or selected. It can include food that consumers select themselves (eg from a display unit), as well as products kept behind a counter, and some food sold at mobile or temporary outlets.
Examples of PPDS food include:
- Sandwiches and bakery products which are packed on site before a consumer selects or orders them
- Fast food packed before it's ordered, such as a burger under a hot lamp where the food can't be altered without opening the packaging
- Products which are pre-packaged on site ready for sale, such as pizzas, rotisserie chicken, salads and pasta pots
- Burgers and sausages pre-packaged by a butcher on the premises ready for sale to consumers
- Samples of cookies given to consumers for free which were packed on site
- Foods packaged and then sold elsewhere by the same operator at a market stall or mobile site
- PPDS food provided in schools, care homes or hospitals and other similar settings will also require labelling
More information is available on the Food Standards Agency website.
Check whether your business sells PPDS food with the FSA’s food labelling decision tool.
PPDS food. What needs to be on the label?
The label needs to show the name of the food (eg mature cheddar cheese, pickle and butter in sliced malted bread) and the ingredients list with the 14 allergens required to be declared by law emphasised within it. These need to be in line with the legal requirements that apply to naming the food and listing ingredients.
The 14 allergens are: 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 (if they are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million), and tree nuts (such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts).
Food businesses must still ensure that they comply with existing relevant food information and labelling requirements for the country they operate in. Find out more from the FSA website, where you'll find the detailed rules regarding the content, form and presentation of the name, ingredients and allergen information.
Food that isn’t classed as PPDS
- Any food that isn't in packaging or is packaged after being ordered by the consumer. These are types of non-pre-packed food and don't require an individual label with name, ingredients and allergens emphasised. Allergen information must still be provided but this can be done through other means, including orally.
- Food packed by one business and supplied to another business. This is pre-packed food and already must have full labelling, including the name of the food and a full ingredients list, with allergenic ingredients emphasised within it.
- Distance selling. The new labelling requirements don't apply to PPDS food sold by means of distance selling, such as food which is purchased via telephone/internet. For example, from Chinese, Indian or burger takeaways etc. Businesses selling PPDS food this way will need to ensure that mandatory allergen information is available to the consumer before they purchase the product and at the moment of delivery.
If your business sells or supplies PPDS food, you need to act before 1 October 2021 to comply with the law. Call 0345 678 9067 if you need more information.
Free resources and training for businesses
- Visit training standards for an allergen awareness presentation video, handout and poster, in English, Welsh, Bengali, Cantonese, Kurdish, Mandarin, Punjabi, Turkish and Urdu.
- An in depth Guide to labelling requirements on prepacked for direct sale and other non-prepacked foods – from 1 October 2021
- Food Standards Agency Prepacked for Direct Sale food labelling webinar for UK food businesses
- Food Standards Agency PPDS toolkit for food businesses and sector specific guidance
- Food Standards Agency free allergy and intolerance training and food labelling e-learning course