The techie bit…..

  • From 13 December 2014 the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation is in force
  • Implemented by the Food Information Regulations 2014
  • From 13 December 2014, caterers must be able to tell customers whether any of the specified 14 allergens are in the dishes or drinks on the menu.
  • The law applies to your establishment if it prepares, makes or serves food and this is served or sold directly to consumers
  • Wide remit – applies to all caterers, including cafés, pubs, burger vans, canteens…..

The 14 allergens

  • Cereals
  • Crustaceans
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Milk
  • Nuts
  • Celery
  • Lupin
  • Molluscs
  • Mustard
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sulphites

How do I provide allergen information to the customer?

  • Up front in writing – e.g. on menu “Tuna Niçoise – contains fish, egg, celery” OR
  • Tell customers where the information is available – e.g. a notice informing customers to ask a member of staff for allergen information. 
  • Ignorance is no excuse – you cannot say “I don’t know, it might have allergens” – you must know if the food you serve contains allergens or not.

Non-compliance

  • Enforced by Trading Standards (although EHOs have power to investigate)
  • Improvement notice may be issued
  • Breach is a criminal offence – fine of up to £5,000
  • Defra guidance indicates that enforcement should be “proportionate” and refers to low level action

Practical considerations

Click here to view the table.