Allergen information for different business types

Guidance for different business types on allergens, and the legal responsibilities they have as a business regarding allergens.
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Catering for aeroplanes and moving vehicles

Food provided on modes of transport between and from EU Member States fall within the scope of EU FIC’s allergen rules.

To comply with these rules you should:

  • declare allergen information on food provided free of charge, as a complimentary snack or as a meal
  • display allergen information on sealed boxes via a sticker before the seal is broken

Institutional caterers in schools, hospitals and care homes

When food is provided by institutions, it is their responsibility to protect the individuals in their care. For these people to be safe, pre-existing food allergies or intolerances should be made known and processes in place to ensure they can obtain safe food options. This is particularly important if the individual is unable or need help to make safe food choices for themselves.

Staff handling food must also be aware of the rules surrounding allergens and the institution’s policy on food allergen management.

Care homes

In care homes there will be a ‘care record’ outlining the resident’s needs in relation to their dietary needs. There needs to be a process in place to ensure dietary needs on the care record are communicated to those serving the food.

Schools

In schools, kitchen staff will need to be able to easily identify those with specific dietary requirements.

Practices to identify children with dietary needs could be as simple as:

  • coloured wrist bands
  • a photograph of the child alongside details of their allergy in the kitchen or serving area

Posters and materials for schools

Primary school:

Allergy Adventures poster - full colour

Allergy Adventures poster - print friendly

Secondary school:

Food allergen information poster for schools

Restaurants

Buffets require:

  • allergen information provided for each food item separately and clearly rather than for the buffet as a whole
  • allergen management to prevent allergen cross-contamination - for example, ensuring that scoops are used for one dish only

Distance selling

If food is sold through distance selling, such as through a telephone or online order, allergen information must be provided at two stages in the process:

  • before the purchase of the food is complete - this could be in writing (for example on a website, catalogue or menu) or orally (for example by phone)
  • when the food is delivered - this could be in writing (for example on allergen stickers on food or enclosed hard copy of menu) or orally (for example by phone)