Natasha’s Law comes into force on October 1, 2021 for England-based businesses working in the food industry 2021.  The Law is a result of the tragic death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who suffered a fatal allergic reaction after eating a baguette which contained unlabeled sesame. The reforms cover labelling for all foods that are prepared and packed on the same premises from which they are sold and means each individual item will need to have a full list of ingredients and allergens on it.  The hope is this will help keep allergy sufferers safe and give them confidence in the food they purchase. 

These are much-needed changes, and although very much welcomed, will require the hospitality sector to invest proper time, energy and compliance into ensuring they meet the new regulations. Systopia is busy enhancing our mySYSTOPIA Online Ordering suite to help our customers do just that.

With online ordering, users can set up an account online which contains their individual credentials, including any allergens they have.  Obviously users will be very familiar with what they can and can’t consume, but products can contain ‘hidden ingredients’ and this will help ensure no products are inadvertently purchased that could result in an allergic reaction. Other dietary requirements can also be stored within the account too.

In addition, at the point of ordering, online users can view full menus, complete with ingredient and allergen information for each product, which will be required to be displayed when Natasha’s Law comes into force. Users can view the menu at their leisure and ensure they are choosing items that are safe for them to consume. Furthermore, it’s possible for only the ‘allergen safe’ menu options to show for each individual user – so for example, someone with a peanut allergy will only be shown menu options that don’t contain peanuts.

Something that many hospitality operators share with us is their concern around the ongoing management of allergens. It’s one thing implementing changes that Natasha’s Law brings and ensuring the full list of ingredients and allergens is on each product; it’s another thing to ensure the measures are shown to users in a way that makes it easy and simple to follow. This is what technology brings – additional layers of management that mean the chances of someone eating something they are allergic to are greatly reduced.

Online ordering brings many other benefits in addition to allergen management – all items can be ordered and paid for online, meaning there is no need to queue and wait to pay at the point of collection. It’s compatible with mobile wallet apps like ApplePay, Google Wallet and AndroidPay as well as debit and credit cards, making it convenient and user-friendly.

As well as offering many benefits to the consumer, online ordering is also great for businesses. It can help reduce food waste and provides invaluable transaction data – which in turn can help build much needed revenue through targeted marketing.  Loyalty programs can be integrated to promote repeat business.

It’s a tragic reality that Natasha’s Law is coming into place at all, but what a legacy to leave; one which will help to protect the many thousands of severe allergy sufferers.

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