Following the introduction of The Food Information Regulations in 2014, food businesses are responsible for providing customers with accurate information about allergens in the food that they serve.
This applies to 'loose' foods that are not pre-packed.
There are 14 allergens that you need to be identify if they are used as ingredients.
You can provide this information in a number of ways:
- As part of the menu
- On a chalkboard
- In an information pack
- Verbally if you are confident enough to do so
We would always recommend that allergen information is written down.
The 14 allergens are:
- Cereals containing gluten
- Sesame seeds
- Sulphur dioxide
You must also have a sign up in your food business, and/or a note to your menu, asking that your customers make you aware if they have a food allergy.
People that suffer from a food allergy have varying reactions, some slight and some fatal.
That is why it is so important that you provide the correct information.
If you are not able to provide this information to a customer, for example if a label has been thrown away, you must inform the customer.
Further information on food labelling can be found on the Food Standards Agency website
More information on food labelling training
Foods prepacked for direct sale
From the 1 October 2021, the labelling requirements for foods classed as 'Prepacked for Direct Sale' or ‘PPDS’ changed.
You will first need to determine whether the foods you produce are in fact PPDS.
You are almost certainly producing PPDS food if you answer yes to all 3 of the following questions:
- Is the food presented to the consumer in packaging?
- Is it packaged before the consumer selects or orders it?
- Is it packaged at the same place it is sold?
Any business that produces PPDS food are required to apply an appropriate label to each product.
This label must contain:
- The name of the food
- A full ingredients list, with allergenic ingredients emphasised within the list
This information must be:
- Easily accessible
- In a conspicuous place
- Easily visible
- Clearly legible and indelible
- The information must not be hidden, obscured, detracted from or interrupted by other written or pictorial matter
- All information provided about allergens must be accurate
Please note that PPDS sold by 'distance selling' (i.e. not face-to-face, such as via a website, social media, or by telephone) is not affected by this change in legislation.
- Businesses selling PPDS food by distance must continue to ensure that mandatory allergen information is freely available to the consumer
- Before they purchase the food - this can be in writing (e.g. on a website, catalogue or menu) or orally (e.g. by phone)
- When the food is delivered - this can be in writing (e.g. allergen stickers on the food or an enclosed copy of a menu) or orally (e.g. by phone or delivery person)
Further information on allergen labelling changes for prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) food
Food Standards Agency online food safety training
Training in multiple languages can be found via Chartered Trading Standards Institute
Our food control team are happy to help with any queries.