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Allergen information for pre-packed and loose foods

There is specific information for different types of food including pre-packed and loose foods.
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Pre-packed refers to any food put into packaging before being placed on sale. Food is pre-packed when it:

  • is either fully or partly enclosed by the packaging
  • cannot be altered without opening or changing the packaging
  • is ready for sale

If the name of the product clearly refers to the allergen, there is no need for a separate allergen declaration to be made, such as ‘box of eggs’ or ‘bag of peanuts’.

Pre-packed for direct sale

Foods pre-packed for direct sale are foods prepared on the same premises as they are being sold. For these products, the customer can ask the person who packed the product about allergenic ingredients.

This does not include food products made for sale at retail outlets in other locations.

Detailed information and guidance on allergen labelling for the industry can be found in our technical guidance.

Loose foods

Loose foods include everything that is not pre-packed. Foods which are wrapped on the same site as they are sold are also known as loose foods. If you provide loose foods, you will have to supply information for every item on the menu that contains any of the 14 allergens.

Rules for declaring allergens in loose foods:

  • provide information about the allergens used in these foods
  • allergen information should be available in writing or by speaking to staff
  • logos or symbols can be used when accompanied by words and numbers on menus

For loose foods allergen information has to be:

  • easily accessible to all consumers
  • accurate, consistent and verifiable

Allergy information for loose foods