Food Allergen Labelling

If you operate a food business new legislation comes into force from December 2014 which will apply to all food businesses with regards to allergen labelling. Individuals who are not food businesses and occasionally provide food at charity events or voluntary cake sales, for example, do not need to follow these requirements.

People with food allergies have to be extremely careful about what they eat. Food labelling is therefore very important to those with food allergies as there can be potentially serious consequences from eating food that they are allergic to.

The new regulation, which was published in October 2011 (Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011), will build on current allergen labelling provisions for prepacked foods and will introduce a new requirement for allergen information to be provided for foods sold non-packed or prepacked for direct sale.

New Rules For Loose Foods

Legislation has listed 14 allergens that need to identified if they are used as ingredients in a dish. These include:

  1. Cereals containing gluten
  2. Peanuts (including oils)
  3. Nuts (including oils)
  4. Milk (all dairy products)
  5. Soya
  6. Egg
  7. Mustard
  8. Lupin
  9. Crustaceans
  10. Molluscs
  11. Fish
  12. Sesame seeds
  13. Celery
  14. Sulphur dioxide

From the 13th December 2014 information on any of the 14 allergens used as ingredients will need to be provided for foods sold without packaging or wrapped on site.

Supermarket food counters, delicatessens, restaurants, takeaways must comply with the new requirements relating to loose food. You will have to supply information for every item on your menu that contains any of the 14 allergens as ingredients.

For details and guidance on the new regulations and how they affect your business see the Food Standards Agency website.