EU Allergen Food Information Regulations (EU1169/2011)

There is a new Food law coming into effect in the EU that means all catering companies would have to list which allergens it contains, which is going to be great news for anyone with allergies like lactose intolerance or milk who can never be sure where it might be hidden! We spoke to Liz Allan from Allergy Aware Kitchen who explains this new regulation in a bit more detail.

New Food Allergen Law – Food Information Regulations (EU1169/2011)
December 13th 2014 marks the introduction of the Food Information Regulations (EU1169/2011) which is being introduced by the Food Standards Agency and DEFRA.
These regulations bring together and update a series of existing regulations regarding nutrition and allergen ingredients information.

What are the requirements of the regulations?
The regulations relate to loose foods, in other words food which have been made on the premises of a food service company which will be sold without any packaging to you the customer (ie. All Menu items) or items packed on the premises for direct sale (ie. Sandwiches, wraps, pastries, cakes etc).
Food services businesses will have to provide ingredient information on the EU Top14 allergens contained in the dishes they provide to their customers.
The regulations apply to all food service organisations such as:
Restaurants, Cafés, Coffee Shops, Pubs, Works Canteens, Schools, Nurseries, Hospital and Prison food, Conference Catering, Wedding Receptions, in fact everyone providing food in a catering setting will have to adhere to the new regulations
It also covers unpackaged foods sold in retail at a deli counter in a supermarket or butchers.

Why are they being introduced?
Evidence shows that people with food allergies are having allergic reactions when they eat out. Some people with allergies do not eat out because for fear of this happening.

How will allergen information be provided?
Allergen information can be provided to customers in any of the following ways:
• On the menu under each item (contains gluten, milk, soya etc)
• On a chalkboard next to each item (contains gluten, milk, soya etc)
• Orally, although they need to hold allergen information in writing to back up any statements made
• If they do not supply allergen information on the menu or chalkboard, they have to provide customers clear notices letting them know where the information can be found.
What can’t food service companies say anymore?
Food service companies can’t say that they don’t know if any allergens are present in the food you serve, they have to be aware of the EU Top14 allergens within.

EU Top-14 Allergens
Gluten, Milk, Soya, Peanuts, Tree-Nuts (Almonds, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, Cashew, Pecan, Brazil, Pistachio), Sesame, Sulphites, Egg, Molluscs (snails and clam, squid, cuttlefish and octopus – with a soft under belly), Crustaceans (lobster, crabs, shrimp, crayfish), Fish, Mustard, Celery, Lupin.
(These are the allergens which cause the most allergic reactions within Europe. There are over 150 foods which have caused allergic reactions worldwide).

What do these regulations mean to me as a customer?
Your will be able to ask about any of the EU Top14 allergens contained in the food supplied to you by food service companies, whether you have food allergies, food intolerance, coeliac disease or anaphylaxis, or not. Food service companies will not be able to say that they don’t know which allergens are contained in the foods they prepare or serve you.

Food Allergy Awareness & Training
Food service staff will need to be aware of what allergens are contained in their dishes. They also need to understand how to control and prevent allergen cross contamination when preparing and serving food to allergic guests. This applies to all food service staff, kitchen, counter, bar and front of house as all are involved in the process.
Although Food Allergy Awareness training is not compulsory, it is suggested that all staff are trained in order for food service organisations to be able to fully comply.

About Allergy Aware Kitchen:
Allergy Aware Kitchen offer Food Allergy Awareness Training Courses for Food Service and gives you the knowledge to be able to ensure your organisation complies with the Food Information Regulations (EU1169/2011) which are being introduced 13th December 2014.
In order for you to supply the information required by the regulations your staff need to be aware of what are the allergens, how they can cause allergic reactions and how to prevent cross contamination when preparing and serving food to your allergic customers.

This applies to all food service staff, kitchen, counter, bar and front of house staff as all of them are involved at some point of the process.

Liz Allan is the founder of Allergy Aware Kitchen. She previously ran a successful company supplying allergy friendly cakes to consumers, one of which won a FreeFrom Food Award in 2012. Liz worked in business improvement for a number of years. She also has food intolerance so has been unable to eat gluten or wheat for over 10-years.

Liz’s passion for the allergy sector is reflected in the Food Allergy Awareness Courses that Allergy Aware Kitchen supply,
Allergy Aware Kitchen Limited is a Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday Winner (#SBS)