January 17, 2022
Contact us
Request a call back

Allergies or intolerances to various substances are a part of everyday life, it is estimated that 2 million people in the UK have some form of food allergy or intolerance. While for many people an allergic reaction may be uncomfortable but not severe, sometimes the consequences of consuming the wrong food can be devastating.

In July 2016, while on a flight from Heathrow, 15 year old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died after consuming a sandwich which contained sesame, something she was allergic too.

It is not always obvious whether food contains a substance that people may be allergic to, so businesses are required to tell consumers if the products they sell or provide contain any of the 14 main food allergens.

How this information has to be provided varies depending on the type of business. A new law came into effect on 1st October 2021 to strengthen these rules.

Under previous food regulations, food businesses did not have to individually label freshly made pre-packaged food for direct sale, instead they could rely on signs near food displays prompting customers to raise allergen queries with staff.

The new law amends this so that food businesses who sell prepacked food for direct sale are now required to label food items with the name of the food, a full ingredients list and with allergenic ingredients emphasised in the list.

The 14 major allergens that must be considered are:

  • celery
  • cereals containing gluten – including wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan), rye, barley and oats
  • crustaceans – such as prawns, crabs and lobsters
  • eggs
  • fish
  • lupin
  • milk
  • molluscs – such as mussels and oysters
  • mustard
  • tree nuts – including almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts
  • peanuts
  • sesame seeds
  • soybeans
  • sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if they are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million)

Our specialists can help you with managing your food hygiene and safety matters, please speak to your normal PIB Risk management contact or get in touch using [email protected] if you have any questions.