Following a key stakeholder consultation that was held between January and March this year, the Food Standards Agency has today published an update to the Food Allergen and Labelling Information:Technical Guidance along with a summary of responses and updates made as a result of the consultation.
The guidance aims to help food businesses follow allergen labelling requirements and also to help authorised food officers enforce the allergen provisions of the EU Regulation on the provision of food information to consumers (Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011) and Food Information Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/1855) as amended and corresponding Regulations in Wales, and Northern Ireland.
The guidance has been updated to reflect the new allergen labelling requirements which will apply from the 1st October 2021. These cover foods that are prepared and packed on the same premises from which they are sold – such as a packaged sandwich or salad made by staff earlier in the day and placed on a shelf for purchase. The new law requires these products to carry a full list of ingredients with the 14 allergens, as listed in European Legislation, emphasised on the packaging.
Currently, food prepared on the premises in which it is sold is not required to display allergen information on the label, meaning food allergic individuals sometimes lack confidence buying food to eat whilst they are out.
The Anaphylaxis Campaign contributed to the consultation and CEO Lynne Regent says
‘We welcome the publication today of these updated technical guidelines. We have strongly supported full ingredient labelling on food pre-packed for direct sale as a necessary step, and we are now one step closer to seeing food businesses fully prepared to implement this successfully in October 2021, making eating out a safer experience for all those living with allergies.’
The FSA’s response to the consultation can be found here
The updated technical guidance can be accessed here