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Allergens - Coming to a Food Label Near You!


As the first of two blogs dedicated to Food Allergens ahead of our next course release, this piece gives you a brief overview of what we mean when we talk about allergens, as well as touching on recent legislative change...

On December the 13th, 2014, the FSA (Food Standards Agency) in conjunction with DEFRA introduced a new food allergen law called the “Food Information Regulations EU1169/2011” (FIR Regs). This regulation affects all food services organisations, irrespective of their size; so whether you work in a restaurant, café, catering business or even the motorway services, this regulatory change has implications for the way you work.

With the new law now in place, all food organisations serving unpackaged or packed food on site for immediate consumption are obligated to supply details of the menu items that contain the 'Top 14 Allergens' within the dishes served. These 14 foodstuffs are as follows: Gluten, Crustaceans, Eggs, Celery, Milk, Fish, Treenuts, Sulphites, Soya, Sesame, Peanuts, Mustard, Lupin and Molluscs. You can check out the full infographic detailing these below.

The new law essentially means:

• You can no longer state that you ‘don’t know’ if an allergen is present
• You can no longer state that all foods ‘could’ contain an allergen
• Oral statements now have to be backed up in writing if requested
• Your local Environment Health Officers will enforce the regulations. Any Non-Compliance will result in a large fine

The regulations and subsequent enforcement means that the requirement for staff training at all levels has never been more important! All staff need to be trained in order to understand requirements of food allergic customers and how to prevent cross contamination when working with food. 

Take a look at our Food Allergen Resource to gain more information about the 14 major food allergens that are included in our course.

Food Allergens Course