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Food allergy labelling

There has been a change in the law which affects the way food businesses must tell their customers about allergens in the food they serve or sell if it is sold open or wrapped at your premises.

You have to tell customers if any of the allergens listed below is in their food, regardless of the quantity of the ingredient:


  • Cereals containing gluten
  • Crustaceans
  • Molluscs
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Peanuts
  • Nuts
  • Soybeans
  • Milk
  • Celery
  • Mustard
  • Sesame seeds
  • Lupin
  • Sulphur dioxide


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 will need to know 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.

 Customers may provide food businesses with Chef’s Cards which list the foods that they are allergic to. These are intended to help caterers to understand exactly which foods their customers need to avoid.

 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.

 An online training course for you and your staff can be accessed at: allergy 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 food@ashfield-dc.gov.uk