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Food Allergens

Information for restaurants, takeaways and other catering businesses

We are working together with Environmental Health to provide advice and support to businesses to help them follow new legal requirements.

In December 2014 the Food Information Regulations 2014 changed the way that catering businesses provide information to customers.

Allergic reactions can make people very ill and can sometimes lead to death. There is no cure and the only way to avoid getting ill is to make sure you don’t eat the foods that you are allergic to.

Food allergens to consider

  • cereals containing gluten
  • crustaceans
  • molluscs
  • eggs
  • fish
  • peanuts
  • nuts
  • soybeans
  • milk
  • celery
  • mustard
  • sesame seeds
  • lupin
  • sulphur dioxide at levels above 10mg/kg, or 10 mg/litre, expressed as SO2

What do I need to do? 

Businesses serving unpackaged food need to provide information about the allergenic ingredients used in the food served.

Information is needed for every item on the menu that contains one of the 14 allergens listed in the legislation.

Businesses can provide this on the menu, on a chalkboard, in an information pack or from a member of staff.

If the allergen information is not listed clearly, businesses must display a notice advising customers where they can find the information.

Businesses are no longer be able to say that it is not known whether a food contains an allergen or that all the food served may contain an allergen.

Customers may provide food businesses with chef’s cards which list the foods that they are allergic to. These are intended to help caterers to understand exactly which foods their customers need to avoid.

Businesses taking orders by telephone or via a website, will need to provide allergen information before the order is complete and when the order is delivered.

Further Information

Further information is available from The Food Standards Agency. This includes a booklet called 'Allergen information for loose foods'.

This is designed for businesses such as:

  • caterers
  • cafes
  • restaurants
  • takeaways
  • schools and institutions
  • sandwich bars

An online training course for businesses can also be accessed on The Food Standards Agency website.

Contact

If you need any further advice please contact us:

Phone: 0300 111 8045
Email: businessadvice@staffordshire.gov.uk

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