Food allergens

There are big changes to the information that food businesses must give to their customers. From 13 December 2014, the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation comes into force. These European rules will be enforced in the UK by the Food Information Regulations 2014.

These Regulations have listed 14 allergens that need to be identified if they are used as ingredients in a dish. This means that from 13 December 2014, all food businesses will need to provide information about the allergenic ingredients used in foods sold or provided by them.

This includes requirements for businesses providing loose food, such as supermarket food counters, delicatessens, restaurants, takeaways. Such businesses will have to supply information for every item on their menu that contains any of the 14 allergens as ingredients.

Details of these allergens will have to be listed clearly in an obvious place such as:

  • A menu
  • Chalkboard
  • Information pack

If it is not provided upfront, you will need to signpost to where it could be obtained, either in written or oral formats.

Businesses should ensure, as a minimum, that all their staff are aware of the procedures and policies of the business when it comes to handling all requests for allergen information. All staff should receive training on handling allergy information requests from their first day in the job.

More information, including resources such as online training and leaflets can be found at:

http://food.gov.uk/science/allergy-intolerance/label/