Food business operators in the retail and catering sector are required to provide allergen information and follow labelling rules as set out in food law .
This means that food business operators must:
- provide allergen information to the consumer for both prepacked and non-prepacked food and drink
- handle and manage food allergens effectively in food preparation.
Food businesses must make sure that staff receive training on allergens. Staff can complete our free food allergy training. Managers can also share our allergen checklist with staff for tips on food allergy best-practice.
We have separate guidance for food manufacturers and institutional caterers.
The 14 allergens
In the UK, food businesses must tell you if they use any of the 14 key allergens as ingredients in the food and drink they provide.
Food businesses include restaurants, cafés and takeaways, and businesses that produce, manufacture or pre-pack food.
The 14 allergens that they need to declare are:
- cereals containing gluten – including wheat, rye, barley and oats
- crustaceans – such as prawns, crabs and lobsters
- molluscs – such as mussels and oysters
- tree nuts – including almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts
- sesame seeds
- sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if they are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million)