The topic of allergens is rarely out of the news.
People with food allergies have to be extremely careful about what they eat. Food labelling is very important to these people because the consequences of eating the food they are allergic to could be very serious.
Currently, the rules for pre-packed foods establish a list of 14 food allergens, which have to be indicated by reference to the source allergen whenever they, or ingredients made from them, are used at any level in pre-packed foods, including alcoholic drinks. The list consists of:
- cereals containing gluten
- sulphur dioxide at levels above 10mg/kg, or 10 mg/litre, expressed as SO2.
New guidance has been launched to help the food industry understand and implement changes in EU legislation for allergen labelling on products.
The guidance, which has been put together by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) in partnership with the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), offers clear advice for retailers and manufacturers on how to implement new requirements on the provision of information to consumers.
For more information, see the Food Standards Agency's (FSA) guidance on the food allergen labelling.
The FSA has also prepared guidance sheets for allergens that can be downloaded in a number of different languages:
- food allergy information - Polish
- food allergy information - Bengali
- food allergy information - Hindi
- food allergy information - Urdu
- food allergy information - Thai
- food allergy information - Turkish
- food allergy information - Punjabi
- food allergy information - Simplified Chinese
- food allergy information - Traditional Chinese.