Food Allergen Regulations

The government has stated that every business that either manufactures or prepares food has to clearly state what ingredients are used and they must also highlight any potential ingredients which may cause an allergic reaction. There are 100’s of allergens out there but the law only requires you list the 14 that they have picked out.

The new rules will apply from the 13th December 2014. This means that someone within your business must have the correct information to hand, should a customer enquire about it.

allergens

The amount of literature available can be somewhat over whelming but please don’t panic! We have put together a few simple sheets which if filled in correctly should constitute compliance. This advice has mainly been designed for smaller accommodation providers such as B&Bs, self/catering welcome packs, picnic providers etc.    Larger businesses which serve a lot of different food, or food producers, may wish to seek professional advice. The legislation is compiled of the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation (No. 1169/2011) (FIC) and Food Information Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/1855) (FIR).

More information and handy tools can be found here http://www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/allergy-guide/allergen-resources

Here are a few easy steps to compliance……

Step One
Download and print the guidance sheets and appoint an “Allergen Ambassador” to read and digest the first page. In a smaller business this may be completed by the chef/owner, while is larger businesses a number of people will have to know this information in depth.
Step Two
Using the second sheet, write out all of the dishes that you serve and then tick off any of the allergens that may be found within them. This can be tricky as some of the base ingredients which you use may also contain allergens and so it is important that you understand exactly all the constituents  of your meals.
Step Three
Create a small file to put this information in and keep it to hand. It is also good practice to name your “Allergen Ambassador” on this file so that if anyone has any further queries they know who to contact for answers.
Step Four
Let your guests know either on a menu or a guest’s information folder (if in a B&B or s/c), that this information can be requested.
This in broad terms should be enough to be compliant but if you are unsure, you can always contact your local Environmental Health Officer for more information.

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