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Food Information Regulations

What is a food allergy?

A food allergy is when the body's immune system reacts unusually to specific foods.

Allergic reactions are often mild, but they can sometimes be very serious. In extreme cases people can suffer from anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening.

Common food allergies in children include milk and eggs. In adults, allergies to fruit and vegetables are more typical. Nut allergies, including peanuts, are relatively common in both adults and children.

Food Information Regulations

The Food Information Regulations 2014 introduces a new requirement for all food businesses selling unpackaged food - for example in restaurants, takeaways, bakeries, hot food counters and delis - to provide information to customers if their food contains any of the 14 recognised allergens which are known to commonly cause allergic reactions, such as peanuts, milk, soya and lupin.

Details of these allergens will have to be listed clearly in an obvious place such as:

  • a menu
  • chalkboard
  • information pack

If the information is not displayed in this way, you will need to signpost customers to where it could be obtained, either in written or oral format. If the allergen information is provided orally there must be a way for:

  • this information to be checked by others (verifiable)
  • it to be confirmed as accurate
  • the same information to be given every time (consistent)

There are different requirements on providing information for foods that are pre-packaged. To find out more visit the Food Standards Agency (external link) website.