The new 2014 EU FIC Regulations – as they apply to food service

From December 13th 2014 information on any of the 14 allergens* used as ingredients will need to be provided for foods sold without packaging or wrapped on site and for ALL foods sold through the food service industry whether in a works canteen, a five star restaurant, a hospital, a school, a café or a stand at a football ground.

This information can be printed, written down on a chalk board or chart, or provided orally by a member of staff. Where the specific allergen information is not obviously viewable, clear sign posting to where this information could be obtained must be provided.

These rules will only cover information about major allergens intentionally used as ingredients. They do not cover allergens present following accidental contact e.g. contamination.

The law is a major change for food service who have not, up till now, had to tell customers which of the major allergens might be in their food although, under existing food safety and consumer protection legislation, if a customer had asked whether a specific allergen was in a dish and had been given incorrect information, the outlet would have been liable.

The 14 allergens are:

  • eggs
  • milk
  • fish
  • crustaceans (for example crab, lobster, crayfish, shrimp, prawn)
  • molluscs (for example mussels, oysters, squid)
  • peanuts
  • tree nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, brazils, pistachios, macadamia nuts or Queensland nuts)
  • sesame seeds
  • cereals containing gluten (wheat (such as spelt, Khorasan wheat/Kamut), rye, barley, oats, or their hybridised strains).
  • soya
  • celery and celeriac
  • mustard
  • lupin
  • sulphur dioxide and sulphites (at concentration of more than ten parts per million)

For more on the new regulations as they apply to food service see:

Interview with Sue Hattersley, then head of the FSA labelling division, on the Allergy Aware Kitchen site.

Any of the articles linked from the index page