Last updated on 19 March 2014

Food allergy research: eating out behaviours

restaurant serving food

The FSA has commissioned a topical new study on understanding the choices and eating behaviours of food allergic and intolerant consumers when eating out.

From 13 December 2014, food businesses, including delis and restaurants, will be required to provide information on the presence of fourteen allergens if used as deliberate ingredients in foods that are not pre-packed.

This is because allergen rules within the EU Food Information Regulation (EU FIC) come into force. However, there is flexibility as to how this information is provided that this study will explore.

The fourteen allergens as listed in the EU FIC are cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, molluscs, eggs, fish, peanuts, nuts, soya, milk, celery, mustard, sesame, lupin, and sulphur dioxide at levels above 10mg/kg or 10 mg/litre.

Research aims and goals

The University of Bath will be leading the work with the aim of developing an understanding of:

  • the preferences of food allergic and intolerant consumers on the provision of required allergen information when buying and eating foods that are not pre-packed
  • the impact that providing the allergen information for foods that are not prepacked will have on the quality of life of the food allergic and intolerant consumer before and after the regulation applies


This will help the FSA and other organisations involved with food allergy (eg charities, industry groups and professional societies) gain a better understanding of the needs of those with food allergies and intolerances when eating out of the home. This will also allow these organisations to develop clearer advice, guidance and tools, to help food businesses comply with the EU FIC’s allergen rules for foods not pre-packed and consumers in making safer food choices.

The full research proposal can be found via the ‘related items’ link below.