Food allergens

All food businesses including manufacturers, restaurants, takeaways, retailers, bakeries and sandwich bars have to inform their customers if any of fourteen specific allergens are contained in the food they serve or sell.

The fourteen allergens are as follows:

  • Nuts and peanuts
  • Egg
  • Milk
  • Cereals containing gluten
  • Soya
  • Celery
  • Sesame
  • Crustaceans, fish and molluscs
  • Mustard
  • Lupin
  • Sulphur dioxide and sulphites

Consumers can expect to see details of the allergens contained in the food they buy either on the label, on menus, chalk boards, tickets or provided verbally by an appropriate member of staff.  When ordering take-away foods, they can expect to be asked about their allergy requirements before they place their order and to be provided with further information regarding the allergies on delivery of their meal.

A number of useful documents and websites are detailed below to help both businesses and customers with these requirements:

Businesses selling food loose, unpackaged and pre-packed for direct sale

Manufacturers and other businesses selling pre-packed foods


FSA advice for food allergic consumers is on the Food Standards Agency website.

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