Mr Muscle Campaign – July-August

Get Wise on Labelling

Is your business ready for food information changes?

The EU Food Information for Consumers Regulations comes into force on 13th December 2014, imposing significant changes for the labelling of pre-packed food.

What’s more, the regulation also requires businesses such as pubs, restaurants, hotels, takeaways and cafés to provide allergy information for non pre-packed foods. It even impacts on caterers involved with canteens and functions.

What foods are affected?

Any food or recipe which contains one or more of 14 named allergenic ingredients will need to be labelled as such and declared to consumers.

The 14 substances or products stipulated that can cause allergies or intolerances are: fish, crustaceans, molluscs, nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, soybeans, celery (including celeriac), mustard, sesame seeds, lupin, sulphur dioxide and sulphites (at concentrations more than 10mg/kg) and cereals containing gluten – such as wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt and kamut.

Businesses will be able to provide allergy information in ways that best suit their individual circumstances. This could include the provision of information on a menu, on a blackboard or as part of a conversation with staff. However, in this latter instance it could be difficult to demonstrate effective compliance if a business relies only on verbal communication by staff.

Get label ready by:

  • Talking with suppliers about what’s in the ingredients you buy from them. The new legislation includes the provision that everyone in the food supply chain has to provide clear labels and information – so they’ll be expecting you to ask!
  • Reviewing your food preparation arrangements, so that cross-contamination risks are avoided
  • Looking at your menus and recipes to identify which foods or dishes you sell are impacted
  • Reviewing and if necessary re-printing your menus so they include all necessary information and warnings
  • Training your staff – they need to know about the new legislation
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