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Food allergens and labelling

Food business responsibilities

Your food business is required to provide allergy information on all foods containing allergens as ingredients (whether sold pre-packed (wrapped) for direct sale, or loose (unwrapped)).

This applies to any food business (including a vehicle or a fixed or mobile stall), such as restaurants, canteens, schools, hospitals, deli counters, bakeries and catering outlets where food is prepared for consumption by customers.

The allergenic ingredients must be clearly stated and emphasised through a typeset that distinguishes it from the remainder of the text by means of font, style or background colour, under the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU FIC) (No.1169/2011).

Where a dish contains several allergenic ingredients, each must be clearly indicated.

Allergenic ingredients

  • peanuts
  • nuts (almond, hazelnut, walnut, cashew, pecan, Brazil, pistachio, macadamia and Queensland nut)
  • fish
  • eggs
  • crustaceans
  • sesame seeds
  • milk
  • soybeans
  • celery
  • mustard
  • lupin
  • molluscs
  • cereals containing gluten (for example, wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt and kamut)
  • sulphur dioxide and sulphites (>10mg/litre)

Pre-packed for direct sale food

New legislation was introduced in 2021 regarding foods that are pre-packed for direct sale products. These are foods that have been packed on the same premises from which they are being sold.

Common foods that can fall into this category include sandwiches, salads and pies made and sold from the premises in which they are made.

From October 2021, the way food businesses provide allergen labelling information for this type of food changed.

Foods will need to have a label with a full ingredients list with allergenic ingredients emphasised within it.

These changes will provide essential information to help people with a food allergy or intolerance make safe food choices.

For more information, see Food Standards Agency: Allergen labelling for pre-packed for direct sale food.


The Food Standards Agency have an online food allergy and intolerance online training course. To access this course, visit Food Standards Agency: Allergen Training

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute have also produced some useful videos, see Chartered Trading Standards Institute: Food Allergen Awareness. The information on their website is available in the following languages: 

  • English
  • Mandarin
  • Cantonese
  • Kurdish
  • Turkish
  • Welsh
  • Urdu
  • Bengali
  • Punjabi
  • Romanian
  • Polish
  • Bulgarian
  • Hungarian 

More information

Contact Environmental Health on 0191 427 7000 or

Or see GOV.UK: Food labelling - giving food information to consumers


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