A new regulation on allergen labelling, the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation, will come into force on 13 December and will mean changes to the way you’re provided with allergen information.
The regulation will require food businesses to provide consumers with information on ingredients which are allergens in food sold unpackaged across all catering establishments. Changes will also occur to existing legislation on prepacked food.
This means that when you’re eating out, all food businesses (including restaurants, cafes, deli counters, bakeries and sandwich bars) will need to inform you if any of the 14 allergens are included in the ingredients in the food they serve. If the food is not packaged, this can be communicated to you in writing on menus or verbally through explanations by staff. It must be clear where or how the information can be found.
Sarah Sleet, Coeliac UK Chief Executive, said “Making sure businesses provide clear, unambiguous information to customers enables people with coeliac disease to shop and eat out safely and confidently. The new regulation means people with coeliac disease will have a better understanding if food they purchase from a supermarket or order at a food venue contains gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. Although the rules are a great step forward, for total peace of mind, we are encouraging all caterers and retailers to label food gluten-free to show their customers what they can eat without fear of cross contamination.