Food allergens and labelling requirements
“In the UK around two million people are living with a food allergy and around 600,000 with coeliac disease. There is no cure for food allergies or intolerances, so the only way for people to manage the condition is to avoid the food that makes them ill. That is why providing accurate food allergen labelling and information is potentially life-saving.
Since 2014, we have seen an increase in allergen information being provided to consumers. However, there is more work to be done and more improvements businesses can make.” [Dr Chun-Han Chan Food Standards Agency]
There has been a change in the law which affects the way food businesses must tell their customers about the allergens in the food they serve, or sell, if it is sold open or wrapped at your premises.
By law Food Businesses must be able to tell their customers if any of the allergens listed below is in the food they are sampling or purchasing, regardless of the quantity of the ingredients:
- Cereals containing gluten
You will no longer be able to say that you don’t know whether a food contains an allergen or that all the food that you serve may contain an allergen.
You must know and be able to advise your customers what is in the food that you provide.
The new legislation is called the 'Food Information Regulations 2014' and further information can be found at: Allergy and Intolerance guidance.
Those ingredients must be listed as they may cause a severe allergic reaction to some of your customers.
Allergic reactions can make people very ill and can sometimes lead to death. There is no cure and the only way to avoid getting ill is to make sure you don’t eat the foods that will make you ill. Please see Food Allergy.
If you use pre-packed foods as an ingredient, please remember that some products have a long shelf life and you may see old and new labels for some time after December 2014, it is important to check the label first.
If you sell food at a distance such as by telephone orders, you will need to provide allergen information orally before the order is complete and in a written format when the order is delivered.
The Food Standards Agency has produced an information booklet Allergen Information For Loose Foods which is designed for caterers, cafes, restaurants, takeaways, schools and institutions, sandwich bars etc. which you may find helpful.
For more information on how a business can comply with the law. Please see Allergen UK here
For on line allergen training
If you are unable to access the online information or need any further advice please contact us by telephone on 01623 450000 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org