Agency issues food allergen labelling guidance for SMEs

| August 5, 2014

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-peanuts-shells-image7230267Following and public consultation, the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published new technical guidance aimed at small and medium-sized businesses and designed to help them comply with new EU allergen labelling rules that come into force in December.

The new rules require information to be provided on the presence of 14 specific allergens if used as ingredients or added to foods. The 14 allergens are: cereals containing gluten; crustaceans; molluscs; eggs; fish; peanuts; nuts; soya; milk; celery; mustard; sesame; lupin; and sulphur dioxide (>10 mg/kg or 10 mg/litre).

The FSA guidance gives detailed interpretations of the new allergen rules and provides examples of best practice. It focuses on the need to provide clear and accurate information on pre-packed food labels that emphasises the presence of any of the 14 allergens.

The catering sector is also affected by the new rules as allergen information for non pre-packed foods served in restaurants and takeaways must also be easily available for consumers. Advice for caterers is therefore included in the FSA guidance.

The guidance can be found on the FSA website here.

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