Yes, it effectively comes down to the moment when a customer orders and when food is packaged. When the food is packaged before the customer has ordered it, it is considered ‘prepacked food for direct sale’ (PPDS). If it is packaged after it is ordered, it is considered to be ‘non-prepacked food’, even if the food is then provided in packaging. The reason for this distinction is that if the food is in packaging before it is ordered, then the customer cannot change it and it requires a label. If the food is packaged after it is ordered then, in theory, the consumer could request that items are removed which would change the contents. Therefore, this is considered to be ‘non prepacked’ and a label is not required.
Scenario 1 – A fish and chip shop sells curry sauce. Customers can go into the shop and request a portion of curry sauce to take home in a pot along with their fish and chips. Is this pot of curry sauce classed as PPDS?
If the sauce is only packaged after the customer orders it, then it’s not PPDS. So if the seller in the fish and chip shop packaged the curry sauce into a pot and put a lid on and then gave it to a customer after they ordered it, that’s not PPDS.
If, however, pots of sauce were prepared before customers ordered them, they would be PPDS and would need to be labelled.
Where a pot’s largest surface area is less than 10 centimetres squared, the ingredients list can be provided separately to the packaging, but on the pot itself labelling is required to specify what the allergens are.
Scenario 2 – A home baker sells cakes over the internet which are collected by the purchaser. The cakes are not in packaging. Is the ingredient declaration and associated allergen labelling required?
All food products sold through distance selling (such as over the internet or by telephone) already require allergen information to be provided before the food is ordered and when it is delivered