Food Allergies

Food allergies can cause life threatening reactions and the number of people with this condition are growing. The Food Information Regulations 2014 require food businesses to consider the allergens that they are including in the food they sell and how they can communicate this to their customers. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) wants members of the public (especially those with allergies) to feel more secure and confident about eating out or buying food, by having information available about the allergens in food. Food business need to know what’s in their food and be able to provide allergen information when asked.

Customers can ask for information on 14 allergens in the food sold. The business can give information to its customers by writing on menus, using an allergy folder, a chalk board and by staff being able to give advice, for example. If you sell takeaway food over the internet or telephone, the allergy information must be offered. This could be over the telephone, in writing on the internet and written on the delivery itself. If it is not provided the food business is breaking the law and consumers can report it to Derbyshire County Council. If a problem is spotted at a routine food safety inspection, Amber Valley Borough Council will ensure that the business is given information to put this right.

Business must remember these key messages when dealing with customers:

  • Make sure the information you provide is accurate
  • Keep up to date ingredients information for any ready-made food bought in
  • When cooking make sure that you know what’s in the ingredients
  • consider cooking oils, dressings, toppings, sauces and garnishes
  • update any lists if you change the recipe or ingredients
  • Ensure your staff know of any changes to allergen information for the dishes provided
  • When making food for someone with an allergy, work surfaces and equipment must be thoroughly cleaned before use
  • Always wash your hands before preparing food.

Easy to understand information is available on the FSA’s website and there is also a catering video to help businesses with these changes.

Other sources of information:


The EU law has listed 14 allergens that need to be identified if they are used as ingredients in a dish. These are:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Molluscs (clams, squid, oysters etc.)
  • Mustard
  • Nuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Soya
  • Cereals containing gluten
  • Lupin
  • Fish
  • Celery
  • Crustaceans (prawns, crabs, lobster etc.)
  • Sulphur dioxide or sulphites



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