New EU Allergy Labelling Legislation. Are YOU ready?

27 Nov 14
The current rules: up to 12th December 2014
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, crustaceans, molluscs, eggs, fish, peanuts, nuts, soybeans, milk, celery, mustard, sesame, lupin and sulphur dioxide.

The new rules: from 13th December 2014

The new piece of European legislation is called the Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU FIC). It will come into force on 13 December 2014 and will change the way allergen information appears on labels and on food that is pre-packed, sold loose or served when you are eating outside of the home. The EU FIC will bring general and nutrition labelling together into a single regulation to simplify and consolidate existing labelling legislation.

The changes are:

+ Any of the 14 allergens that are on the regulatory list will be emphasised on the label, if they are used as ingredients in a pre-packaged food. Businesses can choose what method they want to use to emphasise these allergens, for example, by listing them in bold, italics, highlighted or underlined, to help identify them.

+ Information about allergenic ingredients will be located in a single place, i.e. the ingredients list on pre-packed food. This means that the voluntary use of the current types of allergy boxes (such as: ‘Contains nuts’) that provide a short cut to allergen information also given in the ingredients list, will no longer be allowed.

+ Currently, loose foods (that can be bought without packaging) for example in supermarkets, delis, cafes and restaurants; don’t have to provide information you need about food allergens. However, from 13 December 2014, information on any of the 14 allergens used as ingredients will need to be provided for these foods. continue to assist various food based companies to comply with this new regulation. 

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