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Allergens and the Food Information Regulations

Advice for food business operators

The Food Information Regulations 2014 introduced new legal obligations to supply information to consumers on the allergens that are in the food that you serve and sell. It is no longer be acceptable to say that you don’t know.

The information can be given to consumers in a variety of ways, including chalk boards, tickets, menus or orally. The information needs to be available before the consumer purchases the food.

This change in law applies to all catering establishments and food business operators that sell loose food or food that has been packed and sold on their premises, for example, butchers, delis and restaurants. This includes products made on the premises and packed and also splitting and packing food from bulk.

The Food Allergen Risk Assessment for Caterers leaflet gives you the information relating to these changes and how your business can prepare. It contains details of the 14 allergens and how the information can be given to consumers.

There is also an editable checklist of allergens in food served on your premises which can be used to help record the allergens in each food. When filling this in consider all aspects of the food including garnishes, oils and marinades. You need to look at all of the ingredients you use in your food and see what allergens are in there. You need to look at all compound ingredients like margarine, stock powder and sauces.

The Food Standards Agency has produced guidance on the new requirements for selling loose food and also technical guidance on allergen labelling for catering establishments:

If you require more information or do not understand the requirements then please contact Suffolk Trading Standards on 01473 264859 or email trading.standards@suffolk.gov.uk.

Industry developed guidance

The British Dietetic Association and Hospital Caterers Association have provided guidance in the form of a food allergy toolkit for non-pre-packed food in a healthcare setting.

Free FSA food allergy training online

The Food Standards Agency provides a free online interactive food allergy training tool that highlights steps that should be followed to make sure good practice is used in the manufacture and production of food.