eu food regulations food allergen labelling

Download EU Food Regulations Food Allergen Labelling

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  • The symptoms can include: rashes (usually very itchy) tingling sensation in the mouth swelling of the lips, tongue, face and throat difficulty breathing diarrhoea vomiting abdominal cramps and on rare occasions anaphylaxis

    The impact of food allergy

  • Key facts

    1.92m people have food allergy in the UK (based on population of 63.1m). This figure excludes food intolerance.

    Estimated: 4,500 hospitalisations between 2011-12 and 10 deaths, due to food allergies and eating out.

  • No cure for allergy!

    You must avoid what makes you ill Read ingredient labels

    Look out for hidden allergens

  • Food labelling is changing Moving from General Labelling (2000/13/EC) to Food

    Information for Consumers Regulation (1169/2011/EC) Regulation 1169/2011 entered into force on 13

    December 2011 From 13 December 2014 new rules on allergen

    labelling shall apply Existing requirements for pre-packed foods are

    retained but new requirement to emphasiseallergenic foods in the ingredients list

    Introduction of new requirement to provide allergy information for unpackaged foods

    Criminal sanctions for breaches in food allergen provisions food safety

  • Scope of the Regulation

    Covers business operators at all stages of food chain concerning provision of information to consumers: Food intended for the final consumer Foods delivered by mass caterers Foods intended for supply to mass caterers

    Also applies to catering services provided by transport leaving from the EU Member States airline catering Trains, ships

  • Article 9 Mandatory particulars

    Article 9(1)c - Any ingredient or processing aid listed in Annex II, or derived from a substance or product listed in Annex II causing allergies or intolerances, used in the manufacture or preparation of a food and still present in the finished product, even if in an altered form

    Article 9(2) - The specified allergenic foods to be indicated with words and numbers - they may additionally be expressed by means of pictograms or symbols

  • Annex II: The Big 14

    Cereals containing gluten










    Sesame seeds


    Sulphur dioxide


  • Article 12 - 13 Clarity and Legibility For prepacked foods, mandatory information to appear directly

    on the package or on a label attached to it Mandatory food information to be available and easily

    accessible for all foods Mandatory information to be marked in a conspicuous place, be

    easily visible, clearly legible and, where appropriate, indelible. It should not be hidden, obscured, detracted from or interrupted by other written or pictorial matter

    To ensure clear legibility, use characters with a font size where the x-height is at least 1.2mm

    In the case of packaging or containers, the largest surface of which has an area of less than 80 cm2, the x-height of the font size to be at least 0.9mm

  • Article 21 of the FIC Allergens declared in the list of ingredients with a

    clear reference to the name of the substance or product as listed in Annex II

    In the absence of a list of ingredients, allergens to be declared using a contains statement followed by the Annex

    If the product contains the allergen in more than one form then all forms of the allergen should be indicated

    If the name of the food clearly refers to the substance or product concerned and there is no ingredients list there is no need for a contains statement

  • How a label can change

  • Whats on a label? prepacked food

  • Distance selling

    For food offered for sale online, by telephone or catalogue etc, mandatory food allergen information to be made:

    available before the purchase is concluded (i.e. appearing on material supporting the distance selling or other appropriate means clearly identified by the food business operator)

    available upon delivery in writing (eg. stickers on takeaway food containers)

  • Article 36 Voluntary information

    The Commission has option to introduce new rules on the following voluntary information:

    information on the possible and unintentional presence in food of substances or products causing allergies or intolerances

    Precautionary allergen warnings (may contain) can still be used

    Permits the introduction of agreed phrases or allergen reference doses for the accidental presence of allergens in prepacked foods

  • Article 44 non-prepacked food A new requirement for allergen ingredients

    information to be provided for non-prepacked foods and food provided prepacked for direct sale

    Foods are offered to sale to the final consumer or to mass caterers without prepackaging, or where foods are packed on the sales premises at the consumers request or prepacked for direct sale, the provision of the information about allergenic ingredients is mandatory

    The UK has introduced a national measure to enable to provide this information orally

  • Article 44 non-prepacked foods

    Oral information must be indicate clearly that such information can be obtained upon request.

    Oral information must be accurate, consistent and verifiable upon challenge Is there a process in place to enable consistent information to be provided? Refer queries to the nominated person(s)

    Verifiable ingredients information on a chart, recipe book, ingredients information sheets, scrap books with labels

  • Article 44 non-prepacked foods

    Could declare allergen ingredients information through a contains statement, charts, tables etc.

    i.e. chicken tikka masala Contains: milk, almonds (nuts)

    Consider Article 12 and 13 on accessibility of mandatory information - Marked in a conspicuous place, easily visible, clearly legible

    Signposting is required when information is not provided written and upfront. It should be where consumer would expect to find allergen information e.g in a folder, on menu board, at till or on the menu card

  • Signposting to allergen info (example)

  • Providing allergen information

  • Article 44 non-prepacked food

    How are dietary requests communicated from front to back of house? e.g. use of chef cards, order tickets, receipts

    Preparing foods for allergic consumers- what process is in place

    Do you use Safer Food, Better business (SFBB) Safe Method: Allergy?

    Are you making specific claims i.e. gluten free How this claim is verified or validated Would no gluten containing ingredients (NGCI) statement be better? more factual rather than attributed to a set level

  • Regular reviews, keep it current

    Food businesses need to have processes in place to ensure the information they provide is accurate

    Regularly review the ingredients information

    Where ingredients change, review the accuracy of the recipe

    Do your garnishes or dressings change the allergenic profile? Check!

  • Communication is key

    Accuracy is dependent on correct labelling, updating allergen information, updating staff and consumers The person buying the food The person handling the food The person taking the order The person ordering the food

  • Communication is key Engage with serving staff Extra precautions can be made Recipes change Ingredients change

  • Communicating the changes Joint messaging, conferences, workshops and

    training Engagement with our interested parties Speaking at conferences, seminars and

    exhibitions, articles for trade publications etc Food allergen information and updates

    (consumers and for food businesses) on the regulation can be obtained from:

  • CommunicationsJoint messaging

    Consumer leaflet and Chef Cards

    Allergy Awareness Week (28 April 4 May 2014)

  • E- learning

    Access free training on:


    SFBB allergy safe method


  • Supporting businesses non-prepacked

    Developed in collaboration with food industry and consumer support organisations

  • Supporting businesses prepacked food

  • Further information

    FSA allergy pages (guidance, advice, leaflets on allergen labelling:

    Allergy E-learning Allergy resources, templates, posters, leaflets: Safer Food Better Business for Caterers Food allergies

    General FIR information to be found on Consumer advice BRC-FDF guidance for prepacked foods

  • Guidance on new allergen rulesFSA technical guidance Commission guidance


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