Interactive Food Service Menu

Understanding the Food Information Regulations

EU laws are in force which require all food businesses to change the labels that apply to their foods. The changes will also affect food service businesses.

DWF has produced interactive labels showing some of key changes and how the new laws may impact you. As always the devil is in the detail of the Regulations, they need to be reviewed fully to determine how the changes actually impact your product.

Please note: The information given in this interactive tool does not constitute legal advice. If you would like more information please get in touch.

Select the hot spots below to reveal more information.

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1. Allergens which must be declared

1. Allergens which must be declared

The following allergens must be declared:

  • cereals containing gluten: wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut;
  • crustaceans;
  • eggs;
  • fish;
  • peanuts;
  • nuts;
  • soybeans;
  • milk;
  • celery;
  • mustard;
  • sesame seeds;
  • sulphur dioxide;
  • lupin; and
  • molluscs.

Note: Some substances derived from an allergic ingredient are exempt from the requirement to declare because they are so highly processed they won't cause an allergic reaction. For example, fully refined soya oil or wheat glucose syrups.

NEW - non pre-packed food must also now carry an allergen declaration. For guidance on how this may be done please click on hotspot 2.

Have you thought about...

  1. How you will communicate allergens to customers – orally or in writing?
  2. How you will demonstrate the process for communicating allergens in writing - e.g. matrices, recipe indexes, menus?

Find out more

If you have a question or would like more information please get in touch.

Follow our twitter account @dwf_food_law to keep up to date with all of the latest developments.

Or why not sign up for our weekly Food & Retail Regulatory update which uses a traffic light system to sort all of the week's regulatory developments in order of importance.

2. Labelling

2. Labelling

Allergen declarations must be clear and conspicuous, not hidden away. They can be easily visible, legible and accurate.

Information can be given for the entire dish or with components separated to give customers more choice. For example BBQ Chicken Burger without coleslaw for a customer allergic to mustard:

BBQ Chicken Burger and coleslaw (Chicken burger: wheat; BBQ sauce: celery, fish; Bap: wheat, eggs and sesame; Coleslaw: egg, celeriac, mustard).

A variety of methods to declare allergens are permitted - on menus, chalkboards, tickets, labels, orally...

Availability of oral advice should be signposted by a written notice that is clearly visible when the customer chooses food.

Oral information must be verifiable in writing, for example, in a recipe book, ingredients charts and matrices. This is not only to help staff and customers, but also supporting evidence for any defence.

It's not sufficient to say all foods 'may contain allergens'!

To do:

  1. Prepare a dated written record of the allergen information for each dish, for example, in a chart or matrix, or an ingredients information sheet so that records can be checked retrospectively. New records must be prepared every time the menu changes.
  2. Consider whether the chart can be made available to customers on request.
  3. Train staff and ensure they always have the most up to date information on dishes and allergens.
  4. Consider putting allergen data on the website.

Find out more

If you have a question or would like more information please get in touch.

Follow our twitter account @dwf_food_law to keep up to date with all of the latest developments.

Or why not sign up for our weekly Food & Retail Regulatory update which uses a traffic light system to sort all of the week's regulatory developments in order of importance.

3. May contain...

3. May contain...

Whilst every care will be taken to avoid cross contamination for food safety purposes, such as by separating areas for raw and cooked meats, it is rarely practicable in a commercial kitchen to engineer out all risk of cross contamination of allergens.

For example, most kitchens will not have enough fryers to separate dishes that are deep fried with gluten containing ingredients, such as breaded or battered dishes using wheat flour, from deep fried gluten-free dishes.

'May contains' advisory statements can be used where there is a demonstrable and significant risk of allergen cross contamination. These statements can be included on notice boards, menus and the company website.

Have you thought about...

Whether 'may contains' is really required – will this help or hinder allergy sufferers' choice?

Find out more

If you have a question or would like more information please get in touch.

Follow our twitter account @dwf_food_law to keep up to date with all of the latest developments.

Or why not sign up for our weekly Food & Retail Regulatory update which uses a traffic light system to sort all of the week's regulatory developments in order of importance.

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