Last updated on 16 January 2012
Providing allergen information for non pre-packed foods
These documents, published in 2008, provide voluntary best practice advice to help food retailers and caterers selling food that is not pre-packed provide allergen information on the food they sell.
Food businesses selling food prepared or wrapped on site are not currently required by law to indicate whether it contains ingredients that people may be allergic to such as nuts, wheat or eggs. This makes eating out and buying food that is not pre-packed particularly difficult for food allergic customers because there is less information on which allergens are present in the food and so it is harder for them to know which foods are safe for them to eat. In this sector, communication between staff and the customer and between staff within the business is key to ensuring that customers receive accurate information about the food sold.
This guidance package provides best practice advice on how to tackle allergy issues in the non-prepacked food sector. It is in three parts so that you can have the information in the most appropriate format:
- the main guidance document provides detailed advice on how to provide accurate information on allergen in foods being sold. It includes practical advice and worked scenarios on how to tackle allergy issues – this is aimed particularly at medium and large businesses and at enforcement bodies
- the leaflet highlights the key principles that businesses need to think about – this is aimed at small and micro businesses
- the poster is a useful training aid to introduce the main allergens of concern – this may be particularly useful in training staff who do not have English as their first language
If you would like to order copies of any of these gudiance documents call Food Standards Agency Publications on 0845 606 0667 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New rules introducing a legal requirement to provide allergy information for foods sold non-prepacked will come into force in December 2014. Guidance is being prepared to help food businesses understand these new requirements and will be available on the website.
Consumers with food allergies may give 'chef cards' to caterers that list the foods they are allergic to. These help caterers understand exactly which foods their customers need to avoid. Printable chef cards are available at the link at the bottom of the page.