Food Information Regulations 2014
On 13 December 2014, the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU FIC) came into force. These European rules are enforced in the UK by the Food Information Regulations 2014 (FIR).
The 14 allergens
There are 14 major allergens which need to be declared when used as ingredients. The following list tells you what these allergens are and provide some examples of foods where they may be found in:
- Celery - this includes celeriac. It is often found in celery salt, meat products, soups and stock cubes.
- Cereals containing gluten - this includes wheat, rye, barley and oats. It is often found in foods containing flour, such as some baking powders, cakes, couscous, pasta, sauces and soups.
- Crustaceans - this includes crabs, lobster, prawns and scampi. It is often found in shrimp paste used in Thai curries or salads.
- Eggs - this is often found in cakes, some meat products, mayonnaise, mousses, pasta, quiche, sauces and foods brushed or glazed with egg.
- Fish - this is often found in some fish sauces, pizzas, relishes, salad dressings, stock cubes and in Worcestershire sauce.
- Lupin - this includes Lupin seeds and flour, and can be found in some types of bread, pastries and pasta.
- Milk - this is found in butter, cheese, cream, milk powders and yoghurt.
- Molluscs - this includes mussels, land snails, squid and whelks. It is often found in oyster sauce.
- Mustard - this includes mustard seeds. It is often found in breads, curries, marinades, salad dressing, sauces and soups.
- Nuts - these can be found in breads, biscuits, crackers, desserts, ice cream, marzipan (almond paste), nut oils and sauces. Ground, crushed or flaked almonds are often used in Asian dishes such as curries or stir fries.
- Peanuts - this can be found in curries, desserts and sauces such as for satay and in groundnut oil and peanut flour.
- Sesame Seeds - this can be found in bread, breadsticks, houmous, sesame oil and tahini (sesame paste).
- Soya - this can be found in beancurd, edamame beans, miso paste, textured soya protein, soya flour, tofu, sauces and vegetarian products.
- Sulphur dioxide - this is often used as a preservative in dried fruit, soft drinks and vegetables as well as in wine and beer.
Rules for loose foods
There are requirements for businesses which are providing loose food, such as supermarket food counters, delicatessens, restaurants, takeaways.
As a food business serving loose foods, you have to supply information for every item on your menu that contains any of the 14 allergens as ingredients.
How to provide this information
Details of these allergens have to be listed clearly in an obvious place such as:
- a menu
- information pack
If if is not provided upfront, you need to signpost to where it could be obtained, either in written or oral formats. If the allergen information is provided orally there must be a way for:
- this information to be checked by others (verifiable)
- it to be confirmed as accurate
- the same information to be given every time (consistent)
Other ways of selling
If food is sold at a distance, such as through a telephone order for a takeaway, the allergen information must be provided:
- before the purchase of the food is complete (this could be in writing or orally)
- in a written format when the food is delivered
The change in the law means that you will no longer be able to say that you don't know what allergens are in the food you serve. You are also not allowed to say that all the foods you serve could contain an allergen.
You need to know what is in the food you provide.
Last reviewed: 18 - 06 - 2015