Food Safety Scotland

Menu Allergy Information Service

New Allergen Rules Are Being Enforced by local authorities

TBDS can help you keep one step ahead of this legislation and  your Environmental Health Officers by helping you identify and chart for your customers and your staff the fourteen key food allergens identified by new legislation.

From The Telegraph on Line  “Restaurants, coffee shops, wine bars and army canteens could risk large fines if they do not state precisely which dishes contain celery, fish and eggs as part of new EU restrictions.Anywhere that does not comply with the regulations could be fined by the Environment Agency.The new rules are being introduced by Brussels in a bid to help people who are allergic to specific foods.”

European Legislation on Food Allergens

From 13 December 2014, a new piece of European legislation, called the Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU FIC) means allergen information must be provided in a clearer and more consistent way on pre-packed and loose food, making it easier for consumers to make safer choices when buying food or eating out.

You must provide information about key 14 allergens that have been identified if any of them are used as an ingredient directly or indirectly in the food or menu dish you are providing or selling. You can do this on a menu, chalkboard,sign, website or orally, but if you are a food businees you must signpost your customers to this important information whether it be on a menu card, a take away leaflet or a website.

The new allergen information rules will mean that you will have to emphasise allergenic ingredients (for example, by using bold, italics or colours) on an ingredients list. This means all allergen information will be provided on the ingredients list only.

So What Action Do I Need To Take?

1.Restaurants require to have prominently displayed at the point of service or ordering the following notice or sign saying:
‘Food allergies or intolerances
Please speak to one of our staff before ordering’

2. Tent cards on your tables or provision of information on the front page of  a menu saying the same is also acceptable and in addition shows a ”Duty of Care”which EHOs like.

3. Web site/ take away menu
The same wording should also be on the front page /menu page of your website and link to pages showing menu with indicating allergens in all take away dishes. This link can be to a simple pdf chart of the menu against the fourteen key allergens.
If orders are taken orally then staff must know and be able to tell customers what allergens are in dishes. A loose leaf folder with a copy of the menu by allergen should be easily available for waiting and take away order staff.
Premium phone line numbers are not allowed for the giving of allergen information.

4.Information at point of delivery of takeaway food. i.e. If delivered to home or handed over to customer to be taken off premises.
Each dish should be labelled. eg The name of the dish and the allergens .This can be done with printed stickers. Or give customer a copy of the menu that has allergens clearly identified- but the packed dish still needs to have clear label saying what it us is eg. “Chicken Korma”
Or hand written allergens information chart can be given with the dish – again dish must be clearly labelled eg. Chicken Korma.
NB. Labels must be of very good quality that will not fall off containers easily due to heat,steam or moisture.

5. So where do the takeaway packing staff get the information?
They too need access to a chart,recipe book or ingredients sheet showing each menu dish. This needs to indicate if the dish contains any of the fourteen allergens.

Whats The Common Sense Solution?

Short of time? Busy running and working in your business? Don’t worry.
14 key food allergens menu TBDS can help you out.

Using a system approved by the Food Standards Agency a Training & Businees Development Services adviser will  go through the food and dishes that you offer with your help.Checking recipes and identifyong any of  the fourteen  key allergens in your dishes and chart them in a way that is easiliy understood by both your staff and customers. If you like we can also audit your food stores and supplies to make sure they comply with current labelling regulations.

The 14 Key Food Allergens

Allergens Coming to a food label near you

The way allergens are labelled on prepacked foods is changing because of new regulations. The Food Information Regulation, which comes into force in December 2014, introduces a requirement that food businesses must provide information about the allergenic ingredients used in any food they sell or provide. There are 14 major allergens which need to be mentioned (either on a label or through provided information such as menus) when they are used as ingredients in a food. Here are the allergens, and some examples of where they can be found:

menu food allergy serviceCelery


This includes celery stalks, leaves, seeds and the root called celeriac You can find celery in celery salt, salads, some meat products, soups and stock cubes.

Cereals containing gluten food allergy legislation

Cereals containing gluten
Wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan wheat/Kamut), rye, barley and oats is often found in foods containing flour, such as some types of baking powder, batter, breadcrumbs, bread, cakes, couscous, meat products, pasta, pastry, sauces, soups and fried foods which are dusted with flour.

food allergens crustaceansCrustaceans
Crabs, lobster, prawns and scampi are crustaceans. Shrimp paste, often used in Thai and south-east Asian curries or salads, is an ingredient to look out for.

Eggs allergen management systemsEggs
Eggs are often found in cakes, some meat products, mayonnaise, mousses, pasta, quiche, sauces and pastries or foods brushed or glazed with egg.

fish key food allergens on menusFish
You will find this in some fish sauces, pizzas, relishes, salad dressings, stock cubes and Worcestershire sauce.

lupin allergy shown on menu and websiteLupin
Yes, lupin is a flower, but it’s also found in flour! Lupin flour and seeds can be used in some types of bread, pastries and even in pasta.

milk key allergen inormaion menu charting serviceMilk
Milk is a common ingredient in butter, cheese, cream, milk powders and yoghurt. It can also be found in foods brushed or glazed with milk, and in powdered soups and sauces.

allergens molluscs menu service solutionMolluscs
These include mussels, land snails, squid and whelks, but can also be commonly found in oyster sauce or as an ingredient in fish stews

mustard allergic reaction solutionsMustard
Liquid mustard, mustard powder and mustard seeds fall into this category. This ingredient can also be found in breads, curries, marinades, meat products, salad dressings, sauces and soups.

nut allergy show on menusNuts
Not to be mistaken with peanuts (which are actually a legume and grow underground), this ingredient refers to nuts which grow on trees, like cashew nuts, almonds and hazelnuts. You can find nuts in breads, biscuits, crackers, desserts, nut powders (often used in Asian curries), stir-fried dishes, ice cream, marzipan (almond paste), nut oils and sauces.

peanut allergy information show on menu lawPeanuts
Peanuts are actually a legume and grow underground, which is why it’s sometimes called a groundnut. Peanuts are often used as an ingredient in biscuits, cakes, curries, desserts, sauces (such as satay sauce), as well as in groundnut oil and peanut flour.

sesame allergy informationSesame seeds
These seeds can often be found in bread (sprinkled on hamburger buns for example), breadsticks, houmous, sesame oil and tahini. They are sometimes toasted and used in salads.

soya allergy menu informationSoya
Soya is often found in bean curd, edamame beans, miso paste, textured soya protein, soya flour or tofu, soya is a staple ingredient in oriental food. It can also be found in cooking oil,desserts, ice cream, meat products, sauces and vegetarian products.

sulphur-dioxide allergy menu informationSulphur dioxide (sometimes known as sulphites)
This is an ingredient often used in dried fruit such as raisins, dried apricots and prunes as a preservative. You might also find it in meat products, soft drinks, vegetables as well as in wine and beer. If you have asthma, you have a higher risk of developing a reaction to sulphur dioxide.

Menu Allergen Information System

If you would like to know more about the help we can offer you to comply with this legislation  or want to make an appointment to talk about how we can help you save time and meet with the requirements of this legislation please telephone 07720 8957650 or use the contact form. If we can’t deal with your enquiry immediatly we will get back in touch within 48 hrs.