Saturday, 4 July 2015

Food Labelling Laws

In December 2014, food allergen labelling changed in the UK in order to become clearer to consumers. It's great news for those who need to be able to skim the backs of packets quickly in a supermarket!

The major allergens that will be identified on food labels are:

  • cereals containing gluten
  • crustaceans, for example prawns, crabs, lobster and crayfish
  • eggs
  • fish
  • peanuts
  • soybeans
  • milk
  • nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio, cashew and macadamia (Queensland) nuts
  • celery (and celeriac)
  • mustard
  • sesame
  • sulphur dioxide, which is a preservative found in some dried fruit 

Peanuts are a common allergen... 

Businesses will also have to provide information about food that comes without packaging e.g. deli counters and restaurants are eggs 

Simpler labelling is always welcome, but beware about long-shelf items (tins and dried foods springs to mind), as these may not comply with the current legislation. 

It's also worth bearing in mind areas where cross-contamination can occur (buffets and self-serve areas for example), so be extra vigilant in these circumstances. 

Always ask if you are unsure. 

Information taken from:
Food Allergen Labelling
Advice on Food Allergen Labelling PDF

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