New allergy labelling legislation coming into force

If you are a cafe, deli, bakery, fast food or other catering outlet you need to put the 13 December 2014 into your diary as the Food Safety Information Regulations 2013 comes into force.

The new law requires food businesses to provide information to customers who need to avoid certain ingredients because of an allergy. There are 14 allergens listed in the new Regulations, from peanuts to molluscs, and eggs to celery.

Even establishments offering a free buffet must comply and be able to show the customer has been told of the presence of an allergen whether verbally or through labelling. As a supplier you will need to ensure you have a system in place to prove to enforcement agencies that you have complied. Court proceedings and financial penalties can be imposed following a breach.

This is an important issue. Many people suffer ill health having consumed food causing an allergic reaction. For instance, around 1% of people in the UK have coeliac disease (gluten intolerance) which is an autoimmune disease caused by the immune system reacting to gluten.

If you require guidance on how to comply with the new regulations or to assess if these affect you/ your business, please contact our Regulatory team on 01908 202150. 

Other useful resources

The Food Standards Agency allergy guide

The original consultation document provides more detailed background.