All food businesses now need to provide allergy information on food sold loose (unpackaged).
From 13 December 2014 all food businesses will need to provide allergy information on food sold unpackaged.
This includes allergic ingredients used in dishes served in takeaways, restaurants, or cafes, and loose food sold in delicatessens and supermarket food counters.
You will have to supply information for every item on your menu that contains any of the following 14 allergens:
1. Celery (includes celery stalks, leaves and seeds and celeriac)
2. Cereals containing gluten (includes wheat, rye, barley and oats)
3. Crustaceans (includes crabs, lobster, prawns and scampi)
6. Lupin (includes lupin seeds and flour)
7. Milk (includes butter, cheese, cream, milk powders and yoghurt)
8. Molluscs (includes mussels, land snails, squid and whelks)
9. Mustard (includes liquid mustard, mustard powder and mustard seeds)
10. Nuts (includes almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, macadamia or Queensland nuts)
12. Sesame seeds (includes sesame oil and paste)
14. Sulphur dioxide (often used in a preservative in dried fruit, meat products, soft drinks and vegetables as well as wine and beer).
Details of these allergens will have to be listed clearly in an obvious place such as:
· A menu
· Information pack
For example, items on a menu could look like this:
· Egg sandwich (contains: egg, wheat, soy and milk).
· Tuna salad (contains: fish, celery and mustard)
· Chicken couscous (contains: wheat and celery)
If information is not provided upfront, you will need to signpost to where it can be obtained, either in written or oral formats.
When information is provided orally there must be a way for:
· This information to be checked by others
· It to be confirmed as accurate
· The same information to be given every time
Ignorance is no excuse
The change in the law means you will no longer be able to say that you don't know what allergens are in the food you serve. You are also not allowed to say that all the foods you serve could contain an allergen. You will need to know what is in the food you provide. Never guess.
FREE Online training
The Food Standards Agency provides a free online training course (Opens in a new window) suitable for managers and staff in the food manufacturing and catering industries.