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05/12/2014

Allergen Regulations update

Todays_Labels_290x141On 13th December, new Allergen regulations will be introduced, requiring all UK food providers to track, record and communicate fourteen of the most common foods to cause allergic reactions.

This update which forms part of the Food Information Regulations update EU No. 1169/2011, will ask suppliers and wholesalers to comply with new food labelling requirements.

From 13th December, wholesalers will be required to provide customers with sufficient information surrounding allergens, ensuring that their food sellers are able to answer any questions or queries on the allergens within the food they serve. This will particularly apply to non-pre-packed food.

Allergen information regarding any loose food items must be made available, either written or verbally, before a customer purchases the items.

Major allergens which should be identified by the wholesaler are as follows;

  • Cereals containing gluten such as wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, or kamult
  • Crustaceans, for example prawns, crabs, lobster or crayfish
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Milk (including lactose)
  • Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, macadamia (Queensland) nut
  • Celery (including celeriac)
  • Mustard
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sulphur dioxide
  • Lupin
  • Molluscs, for example clams, mussels, whelks, oysters, snails and squid

This also applies to Foodservice, Bars and Pubs- Changes to the UK labelling Regulations require that consumers are provided with or have access to a range of information that enables them to make decisions about food purchases. Changes apply to all foods whether these are pre-packed (food and drink in bottles, cans, jars, tins, packs etc.) or non pre-packed (food and drink for direct sale to the customer that is served on a plate or has been prepared and then packed on the sales premises, and includes draught beers and other drinks).

Pubs must be able to provide the allergy information to consumers before they make a food or drink purchase for all non pre-packed foods and drinks. Allergy information can be provided using any of the following examples, in combination or alone and not restricted to:

  • Labels, tickets or stickers
  • printed menus or lists (recommended)
  • Signs, blackboards or POS notifications
  • Verbal (written verification or verbal information must be available)

The requirement is for allergy information to be available upon request. This does not mean that the allergy information needs to be displayed alongside food or drink items but can be provided separately. Customers must be made aware that information is available upon request by the use of a sign that can be clearly seen at the point that food or drink is ordered i.e.:

  • ‘Allergy information for all food dishes and draught beverages served on the premises is available upon request’
  • ‘Before you order your food and drinks please ask a member of staff if you have food allergies or intolerances’

For more information on how packaging and food labelling will be changing, take a look at our latest article in Issue 14 of Today’s Retailer here>>

The FWD has also created an advisory notice with key information regarding this update, view and download it here>>

Visit the Food Standards Agency website and download their comprehensive Allergen Information for Loose Foods guide here>>

 

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