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A Cost-Effective Sandwich Solution Delivers Full Ingredient Labelling and Supports a Smooth Transition to Natasha’s Law

4 October 2021

We wanted a cost-effective solution without delivery costs or minimum order amounts. We also wanted a good quality range of first-class wedge sandwiches from simple to classic and wraps to paninis. Our staff needed to have pre-arranged times for deliveries to all food business outlets. Finally, we had to have products with all labelling requirements that would meet with Natasha’s Law.

Susan King, Catering Manager Community Hospitals at NCIC


On 1 October 2021, the UK Food Information Amendment also known as Natasha’s Law will come into effect in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland to help better safeguard food allergy sufferers. This means, if you offer food or drink pre-packaged for direct sale (PPDS), then you’ll need to include a full ingredient declaration on the pack with allergens highlighted in bold.

At North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC), just North of the Lake District in Carlisle, the catering team previously made their sandwiches in-house. To ease the transition to incorporate Natasha’s Law on 1 October 2021 they turned to NHS Supply Chain for support. Our team managed the process from start to finish, ensuring the needs of the trust were kept front and centre and mitigating any risk for a future-proofed sandwich solution.

Key Facts

  • A brand-new sandwich solution in just one month
  • Ensuring a future-proof operation that matches Natasha’s Law.
Allergy and Ingredients Label

The Solution

A Smooth Transition

After initial discussions, it became clear that the best approach was to move from the team making sandwiches in house to buying them in from a supplier. The food team at NHS Supply Chain first established what the catering team at the trust were looking for. In order to make sure these needs were met, and the team were satisfied that moving from in-house to buying from a supplier was the right move, NHS Supply Chain arranged for several sampling sessions where items could be scored against their specific requirements. NHS Supply Chain ensured extensive feedback was gained from staff, patients, and visitors. This was then collated and reviewed in a meeting with the catering team.

All sampling dates went very well with excellent customer feedback.

Susan King, Catering Manager Community Hospitals at NCIC

Process Undertaken

Establishing a Future-Proof Solution at Pace

NHS Supply Chain negotiated on behalf of the trust with suppliers to ensure that there would be no minimum orders and presented the team with the solution that best matched their needs. This also involved a detailed walk-through of the ranges available, the labelling and cost coding, and the setup of accounts and customer service details.

In the space of just one month, the sandwich solution at NCIC was turned around through the close support of the food team at NHS Supply Chain.

The first trialling orders commenced on 1 July 2021 with no teething problems with deliveries. We’re very pleased with the service that NHS Supply Chain has provided and can move forwards with confidence that we are ready for Natasha’s Law.

Susan King, Catering Manager Community Hospitals at NCIC

Since going live with the new sandwiches, the trust has received 11 deliveries of sandwiches. This has ensured that the team are in a great place for when the amendments come into effect in October 2021.

What You Can Do Now

How NHS Supply Chain: Food can support you with changes for Natasha’s Law

1. Switch to a supplier

As illustrated in the case study, NHS Supply Chain: Food can enable a switch at your trust. The switch can take as little as a month – in fact at four separate trusts in 2021 when carrying out this process it has taken just one month. With our in-house expertise, including a procurement team, culinary team, and experienced local Food Account Managers, we can support you every step of the way. See our Useful Links section for your local Food Account Managers contact details. They can give you further information on how to make a switch.  

2. Continue to make in-house

To continue to make relevant food to go items in-house you can contact our colleagues in the Hotel Services team who supply labels

Facilities and Office Solutions Support

Our appointed accreditation body Support, Training & Services Ltd (STS) are the UK’s leading food safety consultants and they have produced an extensive guide to Natasha’s Law. See our Downloads ▼ section to download a copy.  

We also work with several NHS trusts who have continued with an in-house provision and can provide examples illustrating their journey. One is from Jackie O’Brien, who uses a full solution labelling system. As Jackie says:

Three years ago, after this tragedy was reported, we decided we needed to give more information to our customers about nutrition and allergens. The system we now have offers effective labelling and added reassurance for hospital caterers.

Hotel Services Manager Catering at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary

Speak to your local Food Account Manager if you would like to hear more about these sorts of examples.