- Allergenic ingredients must be indicated in list of ingredients with clear reference to name of the substance or product as listed in Annex II of the Food Labelling Regulations. Annex II of the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation No.1169/2011. The Annex II outlines the 14 allergens (and products thereof) that must be labelled or indicated as being present in foods and are:
- Cereals containing gluten such as wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt or khorasan
- Crustaceans for example prawns, crabs, lobster, crayfish
- Milk (including lactose)
- Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, macadamia (or Queensland) nuts
- Celery (including celeriac)
- Sesame seeds
- Sulphur dioxide (>10mg/kg or 10mg/L)
- Mollusc for example clams, mussels, whelks, oysters, snails and squid
- The allergenic ingredients need to be emphasised using a typeset that clearly distinguishes it from the rest of the ingredients, for example by means of the font, style or background colour. Food businesses can choose what method they want to use to emphasise the 14 allergens on their product label.
- When a product is not required to provide an ingredients list, any allergenic ingredients within this product must be declared using a ‘contains’ statement followed by the name of the allergenic substance as listed in Annex II
- Where several ingredients or processing aids in a food originates from a single allergenic ingredient, the labelling should make this clear for each ingredient or processing aid concerned. For example, skimmed milk powder, whey (milk), lactose (milk)
- Where the name of the food (such as a box of eggs or bag of peanuts) clearly refers to the allergenic ingredients concerned, there is no need for a separate declaration of the allergenic food
- Where foods are offered to sale to the final consumer or to mass caterers without packaging, or where foods are packed on the sales premises at the consumer’s request or prepacked for direct sale, information about allergenic ingredients is mandatory and must be provided
- Allergen information must be provided for non-prepacked foods in written or oral formats with clear signposting to where consumers can obtain this information, when it is not provided upfront in a written format
As of the 13th December 2014 it will become a legal requirement that individuals serving or providing food and drink MUST keep a record of all allergens in food and drink and MUST provide information to the customer.
They can no longer say “Dont know if foods contain” or “all foods could contain” They must disclose accurately whether the food or drink does contain any of the 14 Allergens so the customer can make an informed decision as to whether it is safe for them to eat.