New Food Allergies Rules Come Into Force

Restaurants Must Provide Clear Information About Ingredients

17.12.2014

Restaurants and takeaways must tell customers if any of the main 14 allergen ingredients are in the food they serve, after new EU rules came into effect on December 13th.

Businesses have been given flexibility on how they can provide information about foods containing the 14 most common allergens, which include peanuts, soya, and cereals containing gluten and eggs.

The measure comes after research carried out jointly by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the charity Allergens UK revealed that 70% of people with allergies avoid buying takeaways due to a lack of trust in the information they are given.

Allergy-related hospital admissions almost doubled between 2002 and 2014, and on average around ten people die every year due to allergic reactions.

"These new measures will make it simpler for those with allergies to buy and consume food," said FSA food allergies expert Chun-Han Chan. 

"Allergies can be fatal for some people and this is why it is vital that food businesses give their customers information they can trust."

Expert Opinion
Informing customers of the presence of foods that people are commonly allergic to is a positive step forward and will enable those eating at restaurants and takeaways to make considered decisions on what they eat.

“Allergic reactions to food can have a devastating impact on individuals and it is vital that all possible measures are taken to make sure ingredients are correctly identified. We represent people who have suffered illness as a result of unknowingly eating food that contained substances they were allergic to, so we are keen to highlight the importance of correctly identifying ingredients.”
Amandeep Dhillon, Partner