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Tech innovation helps retailers with new allergen labelling

A Cookstown technology specialist has developed a unique digital platform to help food retailers comply with new stricter allergen labelling coming into force in October 2021.

The new legislation, Natasha’s Law, has been introduced by the UK government to protect allergy sufferers after teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died from an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette in 2016.

Natasha’s Law makes it mandatory to display allergen labelling on food prepared on site, previously exempt from the labelling requirements applied to pre-packed food.

Bludot Technologies, a specialist in technology solutions for the food, retail and hospitality sectors, has created the Allergen Intelligence digital platform to streamline the creation, display and printing of mandatory allergen and nutritional information.

Aimed at making is simple for businesses of all sizes to meet the requirements of the new legislation, the innovation uses an ‘intelligent algorithm’ to manage the information required to produce compliant food labels.

As well as covering products bought in-store, the technology can aid both retailers and hospitality businesses supplying online, click and collect and home delivery services.

“We’ve been working on the new technology platform for more than two years in response to the debates around consumer safety that led to Natasha’s Law, the objective of which is to protect food allergy sufferers in particular,” said John Melarkey, chief revenue officer, Bludot Technologies. “It will also help to ensure confidence among consumers in general about the pre-packaged food they buy.

“Natasha’s Law brings greater transparency about what people are buying and eating. Allergen Intelligence in its own small way is helping to make food safer to eat.

“Pre-packed food for direct sale will soon require more detailed labelling about allergens from October. We’ve used our extensive experience in the food industry to design a digital platform to help the industry comply with the much tighter safety legislation for consumers.

“While the new legislation applies to onsite pre-packaged food, all food producers need to factor in the new requirements which may be extended to the industry in due course.”

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