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Allergen guidance

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Important changes to food labelling regulations

The Food Standards Agency have published a leaflet detailing the  introduction to allergen labelling changes for Pre-Packed for Direct Sales (PPDS) . This is food which is packed in advance on the same premises from which it is sold.  

All PPDS foods will need to be labelled with a full ingredients list, including allergens. The leaflet lists the new labelling requirements for PPDS food and outlines how these will affect businesses and what steps they need to take to comply.

All food businesses need to tell customers that any food they provide contain any of the 14 listed allergens as an ingredient.

The FSA offer online training courses for businesses.  This training is free and certificated. We encourage all businesses to undertake their allergen and labelling training courses. It is important that staff are trained in allergy awareness.  

Resources for allergen information including signage, infographics, e-cards, posters and artwork are available to download from the Food Standards Agency

If you require any further advice please contact Devon & Somerset Trading Standards 

The Food Information Regulations 2014 require a food business to provide information to customers about the allergen content of all food sold or provided by them.

The 14 allergens recognised in law are:

  • cereals containing gluten, like wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut and their hybridised strains
  • peanuts, also called groundnuts
  • nuts, like almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, macadamias and Queensland nuts
  • fish
  • crustaceans, includes crabs, lobsters, shrimps and prawns
  • molluscs, includes mussels, cockles, oysters, scallops, squid and octopus
  • sesame seeds
  • eggs
  • milk and milk products, including lactose
  • soy beans
  • celery
  • lupin
  • mustard
  • sulphur dioxide and sulphites at levels above 10mg per kg or 10mg per litre expressed as SO2

Allergen controls in a business - avoiding allergen cross-contamination

A typical busy kitchen can be handling and preparing many ingredients and meals at the same time. Suitable controls should be in place to reduce the risk of cross- contamination to protect customers food allergies.  Simple control measures include:

·         Thoroughly washing hands between preparing meals with and without certain allergens,

·         Storing ingredients that contain allergens separate from other ingredients,

·         Using separate utensils such as knives and chopping boards dedicated to preparing meals without certain specified allergens,

·         Using closed and labelled containers for the storage prepared foods,

·         Dedicating a work surface for the preparation of foods without certain specified allergens

Food allergen booklets in other languages. These booklets were produced in 2018 and do not include the new pre-packed for direct sale legal requirements.

  Bengali Food Allergen Booklet (PDF) [3MB]

  Hindi Food Allergen Booklet (PDF) [2MB]

  Polish Food Allergen Booklet (PDF) [2MB]

  Punjabi Food Allergen Booklet (PDF) [2MB]

  Simple Chinese Food Allergen Booklet (PDF) [1MB]

  Thai Food Allergen Booklet (PDF) [2MB]

Traditional Chinese Food Allergen Booklet (PDF) [2MB]

  Turkish Food Allergen Booklet (PDF) [2MB]

Urdu Food Allergen Booklet (PDF) [2MB]


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