Allergen labelling for Pre-Packed for Direct Sale food explained

In one of my first blogs I promised an update on the allergen guidance relating to pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS) food  once it was made available.

The new technical guidance FSA Food Allergen Labelling Guidance was published in June 2020. This explains the requirements for the allergen labelling of food following update of the Regulations (2019).

This is often referred  to as ‘Natasha’s Law’ following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse in 2016. She ate a sandwich that contained sesame seeds that she was allergic to and suffered a fatal reaction. At the time sandwiches pre-packed for direct sale did not require full labelling of the allergens they contained.

Please note the existing requirements for loose/non pre-packed and packed food remain the same and further information can be found in the FSA Food Allergen Labelling Guidance (following the link above)

What is Pre-Packed for Direct Sale Food (PPDS)?

‘Food that is packed before being offered for sale by the same food business to the final consumer on the same premises, site or on another premises if the food is offered for sale  from a moveable or temporary premises’ (FSA 2020)’

In other words the food must be wrapped or packaged before the customer selects or orders it and be made in the same place it is sold.

Still confused?

To make things easier  the FSA guidance (2020) includes this very useful flowchart to help you decide if the food you are serving is Pre-Packed for Direct Sale, pre-packed or non pre-packed.

For a food to be PPDS, it must meet all of the following three criteria:

 (1) Is the food presented to the consumer in packaging*?   

↓ Yes                                                                  No → this is non-prepacked food

The food is “packed” ✅

(2) Is it packaged before the consumer selects or orders it? 

↓ Yes                                                                   No → this is non-prepacked food

The food is “pre-packed” ✅

(3) Is it packaged at the same place** it is sold? 

↓ Yes
No → this is prepacked food

The food is “pre-packed for direct sale” ✅

If the answers to all three questions above are “Yes”, the food is PPDS.


*   A single item (the food and its packaging) presented to the consumer. The food is completely or partially enclosed and cannot be altered without opening or changing the packaging. Foods in such packaging sold to other businesses are Prepacked food and already require allergen labelling. (See Article 2(2)(e) of the FIC)
** Food (a) packaged by the same food business on the same site from which it is sold or (b) sold from temporary or moveable premises (such as a food truck or market stall) by the same food business that packaged it.

What are some examples of PPDS food?

  •  fresh sandwiches made onsite and put in cardboard sandwich boxes, then sold from their mobile lunch van to local businesses;
  •  pre-made uncooked pizzas made onsite and put on cardboard trays and covered for sale;
  •  pre-cut cheese which is then packaged and sold;
  •  burgers pre-made and wrapped and hot held for sale;
  •  pre-made salad put in a box and displayed for sale in a chiller cabinet.

Food which is not packaged for example: croissants, muffins, pizza slices, hot pasties are not PPDS food but are classed as loose or non pre-packed.

Also if you are preparing sandwiches or food to order for a customer in a deli or takeaway then this is not classed as PPDS food either, as it is not pre-packed for sale (even though it is put in a bag/wrap to give to the customer once it is made.)

What must be on the label for PPDS food?

The Regulations state that the label must display:

  • The name of the food, and
  • An ingredients list,
  • With the allergens it contains emphasized.

How do I emphasize allergens on a PPDS food?

Allergen information must be made obvious using bold text or a different font or colour

e.g. Skimmed Milk

There is detailed information on the font size in Article 13 of the Food Information for Customers Regulation 1169/2011 Article 13

Do I need to emphasize allergens on a single ingredient food?

No, if the food is a single ingredient product, such as a box of eggs , then there is no need to declare the allergen as it is in the name.

Does this apply to PPDS food sold by distance selling?

No,  it does not apply to food that is ordered online/by phone , for example a delivered boxed pizza . However allergen information about the food sold must be available BEFORE the customer buys it, for example on a website or over the phone. Also on DELIVERY the allergens should be shown either using stickers on the food containers to which it applies  or on a menu.

Can I include an allergy advice statement on PPDS food?

Yes, this can be useful for customers to explain how allergens are emphasized on the product, for example, ‘For allergens see ingredients highlighted in bold’

Where can I find more information on PPDS food and allergens?

Food Information for Consumers (FIC)  Regulation 1169/2011

Food Information Regulations 2014 FIR 2014

Food Information Regulations (Amendment)(England)2019 FIR 2019


Please contact me if you need any further advice or information on PPDS food, allergens or food safety



Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Related Posts