Food businesses: changes to food allergen information

Food businesses: are you prepared for changes to food allergen information?

Environmental Health Officers from Pendle Council are reminding food businesses in the borough that they need to be ready for new rules which will affect the way they provide allergen information.

Currently, when food shops sell loose foods they don’t have to provide information to customers about food allergens.

But from 13 December 2014 all food businesses will need to verbally explain or signpost food allergy information for the food they sell.

Food allergies can cause life-threatening reactions and the numbers of people with this condition are growing.

The main cause of food allergy deaths in the UK is due to allergic reactions when food is consumed outside the home where allergenic ingredients have not been declared.

The new rules will mean food businesses will need to inform customers if any of the 14 allergenic ingredients are present in the food they make or serve.

Councillor David Clegg, who represents the Council’s Environmental Health department, said:

“Businesses could be missing out on vital custom by not providing vital allergen information about the food they sell or serve.

“There is no cure for food allergies, so the only way for people to manage the condition is to avoid the food that makes them ill.

“This is why providing accurate food allergen information is important.”

Pendle Council’s Environmental Health Officers will be working with the Food Standards Agency and other local authorities to help businesses comply with these new rules to provide safe food for customers with food allergies and intolerances.

Philip Mousdale, Deputy Chief Executive of Pendle Council, said:

“All food businesses in Pendle need to be ready to provide this vital information from December. We understand the pressures on businesses, however easy-to-understand information is available on the Food Standards Agency website www.food.gov.uk.”

Pendle food businesses who would like assistance in complying with the new legislation coming in from December can take a look at a range of resources the Food Standards Agency has prepared to help them. Look at www.food.gov/allergen-resources.

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