The Food Standards Agency (FSA), in conjunction with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), are introducing new allergen labelling regulations, which come into effect on the 13th December 2014.
If you supply pre-packed food, your labels will need to:
√ Specify allergenic ingredients in a single place, i.e. the ingredients list. Meaning the allergy boxes often used now, such as: ‘Contains nuts’, will no longer be allowed.
There are 14 allergens that matter – these are listed below.
√ Emphasise allergens on the label. Either by bolding, italics, underling or highlighting.
√ Specify the food’s country of origin
√ Use a minimum font size of 1.2mm
The rules are different if you supply food without packaging or upon a customer’s request, such as in supermarkets, delis, cafes and restaurants.
If you supply food like this, for direct consumption, you won’t have to specify the information on the pack. Verbally, on a blackboard or via another medium is ok.
They aim to make allergen information clearer and more consistent, helping consumers make a safe decision when purchasing foods.
The regulations will be enforced by local Environment Health Officers and failure to comply could result in large fines and prosecutions.
Advice with labelling
Sources of allergen images: Eggs: http://bit.ly/1tialp6, Molluscs: http://bit.ly/1n5yQ3E, Crustaceans: http://bit.ly/1oNtShF, Celery: http://bit.ly/1rka5bx, Milk: http://bit.ly/1AuRsTb, Fish: http://bit.ly/1p9Xhlt, Treenuts: http://bit.ly/1o9uIPO, Sulphites: http://bit.ly/1ti9owX, Soya: http://bit.ly/1uRPM5O, Sesame:http://bit.ly/1p9WHUI, Peanuts: http://bit.ly/VCOFru, Mustard: http://bit.ly/1yVcLdJ, Lupin: http://bit.ly/1oWONZM, Gluten: http://bit.ly/1vcCdv5