Allergen information requirements
Food allergies can be life-changing. Consumers must be given accurate information if food contains any one of 14 specified allergens. Food business operators must provide allergen information to the consumer for both prepacked and non-prepacked food and drink and handle and manage food allergens effectively in food preparation.
Information must be clearly displayed on the label of pre-packed food. From 1st October 2021 any food business that produces prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) food will be required to label it with the name of the food and a full ingredients list. Allergenic ingredients must be emphasised within this list.
Food businesses also need to provide information on any of these 14 allergens used as ingredients for any food or drink sold without packaging. It can be provided either in writing or orally by a member of staff. Where the specific allergen information is not provided upfront, clear signposting to where this information could be obtained must be given.
- cereals that contain gluten (including wheat, rye, barley and oats)
- crustaceans (including prawns, crabs and lobsters)
- lupin (lupins are common garden plants, and the seeds from some varieties are sometimes used to make flour)
- molluscs (including mussels and oysters)
- tree nuts – such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts
- sesame seeds
- sulphur dioxide and sulphites (preservatives that are used in some foods and drinks)
The Food Standards Agency has detailed guidance on how businesses can comply with allergen information requirements.