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There was a change in the law in 2014 which affects the way food businesses must tell their customers about allergens in the food they serve or sell if it is sold open or wrapped at your premises.

You have to tell customers if any of the allergens listed below is in their food, regardless of the quantity of the ingredient:

  • Cereals containing gluten
  • Crustaceans
  • Molluscs
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Peanuts
  • Nuts
  • Soybeans
  • Milk
  • Celery
  • Mustard
  • Sesame seeds
  • Lupin
  • Sulphur dioxide


You cannot that you don’t know whether a food contains an allergen or that all the food that you serve may contain an allergen. You will need to know what is in the food that you provide.

The legislation is called the 'Food Information Regulations 2014' and further information can be found at: Allergy and Intolerance guidance. This link will take you to the Food Standards Agency website. The FSA page offers useful guidance for businesses about food allergens and how they can control the food allergen risks within their business and protect their customers.

Those ingredients must be listed as they may cause a severe allergic reaction to some of your customers.

Allergic reactions can make people very ill and can sometimes lead to death. There is no cure and the only way to avoid getting ill is to make sure you don’t eat the foods that will make you ill. Food Allergy

 If you use pre-packed foods as an ingredient, it is important to check the labels first before using the ingredients.

 Customers may provide food businesses with Chef’s Cards which list the foods that they are allergic to. These are intended to help caterers to understand exactly which foods their customers need to avoid.

Takeaways and Internet Sales

If you sell food at a distance for example a takeaway, you will be taking telephone orders, you will need to provide allergen information orally before the order is complete and in a written format when the order is delivered. The meal containers must be clearly labelled to say which contain specific allergens. In addition, you must identify clearly, which container has food made without a named allergen.

If you are using a website for internet websites to advertise or take orders over the internet you must ensure that allergen information is made clearly available to customers making their food choices. Plus depending what system you have in place on the website you must give customers the option to put in what their food allergen requirements are or signpost customers to say on the phone when they place an order if they have a food allergy or intolerance. When the order is delivered, the food must be identified in writing with the allergen information

An online training course for you and your staff can be accessed on the Food Standard Agencies Website.

Allergen forms for your business

The 14 Allergens Information Sheet


Allergen Information Data Sheet

Allergen Signage

Food Allergen Risk Assessment For Caterers

Loose foods leaflet