Food allergens

From 13 December 2014 organisations working within the UK who work within the food industry will need to comply with a new set of European rules regarding the provision of allergy information for unpackaged food.

 The purpose of this new legislation is to:

  •  Set clear requirements for food businesses on what information they must give consumers, and how to present it
  • Help consumers understand what information they can expect to be provided with when they decide to buy food

What you need to do

From the above date, if you operate within this industry sector you will need to provide allergy information for any food sold unpackaged or wrapped on site – for example if you deliver food over a food counter within a supermarket or delicatessen, or if you serve people within a restaurant or takeaway outlet. In addition, any pre-packed food that you supply to others or buy in and sell must also have a label upon which allergens are emphasised.

Essentially you will be required to supply information for every item that contains any of the 14 allergens identified by the Regulation. These are as follows: cereals containing gluten; crustaceans – for example prawns, crabs, lobster and crayfish; eggs; fish; peanuts; soybeans; milk; nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio, cashew and macadamia (Queensland) nuts; celery (and celeriac); mustard; sesame; sulphur dioxide which is a preservative found in some dried fruit; lupin; molluscs – for example clams, mussels, whelks, oysters, snails and squid.

You can write this information down on a chalk board or chart, or get a member of staff to inform customers verbally. Alternatively you can clearly signpost where this information can be obtained. With regards to pre-packed food you could choose to emphasise them by listing them in bold on the ingredients list. You will also need to liaise with suppliers to ensure they correctly label pre-packed foods that are supplied to you. To comply with this legislation it is also essential that all staff have appropriate training in food allergens.

How we can help

We’ll help you comply in a number of ways:

Call us on 01296 678484 or email if you would like to discuss any of these services further.

Please note more information, including resources such as online training and leaflets can be found here: