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Food Allergy Awareness

Allergen Rules For Caterers

The Food Information Regulations 2014 specifies the information that caterers need to provide to customers about the food they serve, including information on any allergens contained within that food.

Caterers should have procedures in place to notify customers on request of the presence of any allergens in their foods. Also food preparation methods should be in place to eliminate the cross contamination of ingredients.

The provision of information regarding the allergens contained within any meal is extremely important as those with food allergies can have potentially very serious reactions to eating food they are allergic to. It is mandatory for caterers to provide this allergen information to their customers.

The main requirements for caterers are:

  • There is a requirement for allergen information to be provided for non-packed foods
  • This includes food sold by caterers at takeaways, cafes, pubs, restaurants and sandwich shops
  • Information must be given regarding all allergens that are an ingredient in the foods prepared and served
  • The fact that the allergen information is available must be given in writing in a conspicuous place and must be easily visible and clearly legible (see allergen signage below)
  • The allergen information itself can be provided verbally but it should be accurate, consistent and verifiable by reference to a documented system.

What caterers need to do:

  • Make sure you and your staff are aware of the 14 regulated allergens (see guidance below for a full list)
  • Consider the food products you make and identify which of the 14 allergens are contained within each product
  • Decide in what form you intend to provide this information to consumers (for example, listing the allergens next to each product on the menus or having a documented allergen chart)
  • Carry out staff training to ensure they are aware of the requirements and that they know how to deal with a customer’s enquiry
  • If the ingredients or recipes of the food products alter you must ensure that the allergen information is also altered to accurately reflect any changes as they occur.


Guidance Notes

The following guidance will help you understand and implement the new rules.

FSA Allergen Information Leaflet for Loose Foods

FSA Think Allergy Poster

Allergen Content Chart

Allergen Signage


For businesses more detailed information can be found on the Food Standards Agency website.

For consumers more detailed information can be found on the Food Standards Agency website.

If you need further advice please contact us at [email protected].

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