Food Allergen and Intolerance Requirements under the Food Information Regulations
The Food Information for Consumers Regulations 2014 introduced the biggest change in food labelling requirements in almost twenty years. With all food businesses including manufacturers, restaurants, takeaways, retailers, bakeries and sandwich bars having to inform their customers if any of fourteen specific allergens are contained in the food they serve or sell.
The fourteen allergens include nuts, peanuts, egg, milk, cereals containing gluten, soya, celery, sesame, crustaceans, fish, mustard, molluscs, lupin and sulphur dioxide/sulphites
From 13th December 2014, consumers can expect to see details of the allergens contained in the food they buy either on the label, menus, chalk boards, tickets or provided verbally by an appropriate member of staff. When ordering take-away foods, they can expect to be asked about their allergy requirements before they place their order and to be provided with further information regarding the allergies on delivery of their meal.
A number of useful links to help both businesses and customers with the new requirements are detailed below:
Businesses Selling Food Loose, Unpackaged and Pre-packed for Direct Sale
Allergen information for loose foods – Advice on the new Food Information Regulations for small and medium food businesses leaflet: http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/publication/loosefoodsleaflet.pdf
Food allergy on-line training: http://allergytraining.food.gov.uk/english/default.aspx
Safe Food Video on Allergen Handling: http://www.safefood.eu/Professional/Food-Science/Resources/Managing-Allergens-in-Catering-See-how-it-s-done.aspx
Manufacturers and Other Businesses Selling Pre-packed Foods
British Retail Consortium (Guidance on food allergens): http://www.brc.org.uk/downloads/Guidance%20on%20Allergen%20Labelling.pdf
Allergy: what to consider when labelling food. A guide for small and medium businesses that make or sell pre packed food: http://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/multimedia/pdfs/publication/allergy-labelling-prepacked.pdf
Further FSA Resources:http://www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/allergy-guide/allergen-resources
FSA advice for food allergic consumers on the changes to allergen labelling under the EU FIC: http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/publication/allergy-leaflet.pdf