Food Allergy Information

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Food Information Regulations (England) 2014

These Regulations, come into force on 13 December 2014 and make changes to the information that food businesses must provide to their consumers about the allergenic ingredients used in foods sold or provided by them.

These Regulations will apply if you:

  • provide meals in a café, restaurant or takeaway;
  • sell food that you wrap yourself e.g. sandwiches, cakes, bread, cakes, deli products and other unpackaged food;
  • provide food in institutional settings e.g. schools and care homes.

Allergens that need to be declared

There are 14 allergens that need to be identified if they are used as an ingredient in a dish sold or made by your business:

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

How to provide this information

Details of these allergens will have to be listed clearly in an obvious place such as a menu, chalkboard or information pack. You can provide the information orally but there must be a way of it to be checked by others, confirmed as accurate, and the information given is consistent.

If telephone orders are taken for a takeaway you should provide the information before the food is purchased and in written format when the food is delivered e.g. apply a label to the food.

Can I say that all the foods I serve contain an allergen?

No, you will need to know what is in the food you provide.

Here is a checklist to help you:

1. If someone asks you if food contains a particular ingredient, always check each time, don't guess.

2. If you are selling food that contains allergenic ingredients, list them on the menu, chart, card or label and make sure the information is kept up to date. You might find this recipe card helpful.

3. Keep up-to-date ingredients information for ready-made/bought in foods that you use e.g. sandwich fillings, sauces, desserts. The ingredients are usually on the label.

4. When you are making food keep a record of all the ingredients (and what they contain) including cooking oils, dressings, toppings, sauces and garnishes.

5. If you change the ingredients of a food, make sure you update your ingredients information and tell your staff about the change.

6. If someone asks you to make something that does not contain a specific ingredient, don't say yes unless you can be sure that none of that ingredient will be in the food.

7. If you are making food for someone with an allergy, make sure all work surfaces and equipment are cleaned thoroughly and always wash your hands.

Where can I find more information?

Food Standards Agency - Allergen information and loose food leaflet

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