New Food Labelling Rules

The rules on how business declare allergens in food products have changed

New rules have come into effect changing how businesses must declare allergens present in food products. It is now a legal requirement for all businesses to make consumers aware if any of the 14 main food allergens are present in the food they serve or sell. The new European legislation, called the Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU FIC) means that allergen information must be provided in a clearer and more consistent way on both prepacked and loose food.

14 allergens

There are 14 allergens that are covered by the EU FIC rules. These are:

  • Celery
  • Cereals containing gluten
  • Crustaceans
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Lupin
  • Milk
  • Molluscs
  • Mustard
  • Nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Soya
  • Sulphur dioxide/sulphites

Food service businesses

If you are a food business selling loose food or in food service (for example school canteens, cafes, restaurants, takeaways, caterers), the new rules mean that you must provide information about 14 allergens if used as an ingredient in the food you are providing or selling. This can be done on a menu, sign, website or orally. You must signpost customers to where they can find this information

Food manufacturing businesses

If you are a food business manufacturing prepacked food, the new rules mean that you are now only allowed to name the allergenic ingredients in your food products in the ingredients list. The allergens must be emphasised, for example by using bold, italic or coloured text.

More information

You can find more information and guidance on the EU FIC legislation inĀ nibusinessinfo‘s guide on labelling food products.

You can download a summary of food information regulations from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website (PDF, 273KB).