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Tue 25th Jun 2019 - Government announces mandatory introduction of full ingredient labelling
Government announces mandatory introduction of full ingredient labelling: The government has announced a new law requiring food businesses to include full ingredient labelling on pre-packaged foods. The announcement comes after a government consultation on allergen regulations for pre-packed food, which followed the death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died in 2016 after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret A Manger baguette. Known as “Natasha’s Law”, new legislation will be introduced by the end of the summer mandating full ingredient labelling for foods pre-packed for direct sale, and the new law will come into force by summer 2021. The government said this would give businesses time to adapt to the change, which was backed by more than 70% of people during the consultation. Environment secretary Michael Gove said: “These changes will make food labels clear and consistent and give the country’s two million food allergy sufferers confidence in making safe food choices.” But UKHospitality has warned the new allergen labelling measures would be “impractical and potentially hazardous”. Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “We understand the sensitivity around the introduction of the legislation but also think this is a retrograde step. Food safety is an incredibly important issue to our members and the entire sector. Many businesses have taken voluntary steps to deal with the issue. We take the matter seriously and maintain high standards but we’re worried this new legislation could be difficult for some businesses to implement and potentially dangerous. We firmly believe the best way to raise awareness of allergens and keep customers safe is to promote an active dialogue between customers and businesses. That’s why we recommended the promotion of voluntary labelling and encouraging customers to ask businesses about ingredients and possible allergens. We are worried full ingredient labelling is going to prevent the kind of dialogue we need to promote. There is also a risk the new measures, which won’t circumvent cross-contamination and will be open to mislabelling, will only promote a dangerous reliance on labelling.” Meanwhile, Pret is supporting the introduction of full ingredient labelling. A spokeswoman said: “As part of Pret’s allergy plan, full ingredient labels are now in more than 60 Pret shops as part of our nationwide roll-out. Before we took this step we ran a number of pilots to confirm this approach would be safe, practical and effective. Thanks to the dedication of many Pret team members, we have been able to show full ingredient labelling is operationally possible in small kitchens when proper care is taken.”

Burger King UK chairman among investors in £2m fund-raise by London food and drink discovery app: Burger King UK chairman Martin Robinson is among the investors in a £2m fund-raise by Nez, the London food and drink discovery app. It brings the app’s total funding since its inception in 2016 to £3m. The funds will see the app invest in marketing campaigns as it scales across London. Nez will also develop its technology and data capabilities and update employee benefits platform Nez perks. The app recently announced more than 385,000 food and drinks offers had been redeemed by its 150,000 users, while it expects to hit 200,000 users by the end of September. Redemptions have grown tenfold in the past 12 months, the company said, including a 40% month-on-month jump in April following its launch in the City. Nez was created by Joe Zender to connect traders with a local customer base by delivering discounts to Londoners’ phones. Nez is now working with more than 330 partners in central London. Zender said: “I came up with the idea of Nez as I walked past a restaurant that had a ‘half price’ sign outside yet it wasn’t getting much attention. I realised there must be a gap in the market for an app featuring hyper-local, real-time offers in London. To see this vision come to life is incredible and rewarding.” Robinson added: “We believe Nez’s offering is unique in the industry and a breath of fresh air in terms of marketing opportunity for its partners. We look forward to embarking on this journey with the brand and continuing to watch its exceptional growth.”

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