It will be mandatory for food manufactures who produce pre-packed food to display a full list of ingredients with the 14 allergens clearly listed on the packaging. This will be introduced this summer and come into full effect by summer 2021.
If you are a food manufacturer who produce pre-packed food, you need to follow certain allergen labelling requirements.
The 14 Main Food Allergens
If your product contains any of the main allergens as an ingredient, it must be included on the label.
The main allergens are:
- Nuts (grown on trees) (i.e. almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, cashews)
- cereals containing gluten
- crustaceans (i.e. prawns, crab)
- molluscs (i.e. muscles, oysters)
- nuts (grown on tree) – including almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts
- sesame seeds
- sulphur dioxide and sulphites
Every time an allergenic ingredient is listed on your packaging it must be emphasised in some way (making the text bold so it stands out is most common).
Making the language on the labelling easy to understand is vital for the consumers to read.
Approx 1% of the UK population suffer from Coeliac Disease which is an auto-immune disease caused when gluten is consumed. Therefore, people with Coeliac disease avoid foods containing gluten to prevent serious health effects. This makes it very important for companies to label the gluten in their foods – this includes food such as wheat, rye and barley.
When there is a risk of the unintentional presence of allergens in foods, due to cross contamination, precautionary allergen labelling may be used (i.e. May Contain Nuts). Cross contamination can happen at any stage of the product cycle from growing in the fields, to preparation or manufacturing.