Food allergen deadline looms
From 13th December, all food businesses including restaurants will have to provide consumers with information on the presence of 14 potential allergens in ingredients of food that is not pre-packed.
In response to the new measure, The Institute of Food Safety, Integrity and Protection (IFSIP) has produced an interactive PDF aimed at helping SMEs get to grips with the regulation.
It offers guidance on how to recognise the 14 major allergens, practical allergen management advice and how allergen information can be communicated to staff and consumers.
Jenny Morris, head of IFSIP, comments: “The free interactive PDF includes a focus on unpackaged foods, i.e. food supplied as meals in restaurants and pubs. We see the greatest need for support being for independent catering SMEs. Some will have addressed the requirements but it’s worth recognising that this won’t be a one off matter. Caterers change menus frequently, often buying according to market availability and price and for customer preferences. Any time they change their menus or if their supplier provides a “substitute” product due to lack of availability, the business will need to check that it knows all the allergenic ingredients in the food it is offering to consumers.”
The 14 potential allergens in food are nuts, peanuts, eggs, milk, soya, celery, mustard, sesame seeds, cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, molluscs, fish, lupin and sulphur dioxide. Visit the IFSIP website to access the interactive PDF.