New allergen labelling rules for food businesses

From 1 October 2021 foods which are prepacked for direct sale to the consumer must be labelled with any allergenic ingredients.

Prepacked direct sale (known as PPDS) products are foods which a business, such as a fish and chip shop or a fishmonger, may package on site for sale later. 

New food safety legislation in the UK requires full ingredients listed and any of the 14 allergens emphasised in the ingredients list. 

 

The 14 allergens are 

  • Celery 
  • cereals containing gluten (such as barley and oats),  
  • crustaceans (such as prawns, crabs and lobsters),  
  • eggs,
  • fish,  
  • lupin,
  • milk,  
  • molluscs (such as mussels and oysters),  
  • mustard,  
  • peanuts,  
  • sesame,  
  • soybeans,  
  • sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if they are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million) 
  • tree nuts (such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts).  

Food is considered to be prepacked if it is enclosed in packaging so that its content cannot be altered or modified unless the packaging is opened or damaged. Fish and chips shops and fishmongers may now need to consider ingredient labels for goods such as tartar sauce, mushy peas, rolls and vacuum packed fillets.  

Photo shows a box of fish fillets in individual vacuum packaging.
Fish fillets in vacuum packaging on display for sale. This is a PPDS product so does require allergen labelling.
Consumers expect prepacked foods to be labelled with any allergens.  Therefore, when they select PPDS foods which have been prepacked on site, they could assume that as there are no allergens declared on the label that the food does not have any allergenic ingredients.  

“To prevent this very serious health risk, the UK governments have introduced mandatory labelling of PPDS foods. This requires full ingredient labelling with the allergens highlighted. 

We have produced specific guidance for hospitality and retail businesses who sell seafood and other associated products to help you understand which products are affected.
Fiona Wright, Head of Regulation, Seafish

Our full guidance is available on our Allergen Labelling Laws web page. It is also available as a PDF to make it easy to print out for staff. 

Prepacked for Direct Sale (PPDS) allergen labelling guidance_ PDF for print

The legislation will be enforced by the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland. More detail is available from their websites. Follow the links below (open in new windows)

Prepacked for direct sale allergen labelling | Food Standards Scotland | Food Standards Scotland

Allergen labelling changes for prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) food | Food Standards Agency