Allergen labelling is important to protect the health and safety of consumers, some of whom may be severely allergic to certain ingredients and foodstuffs. The most common allergens must be included on all food labels - it is a legal requirement. These common allergens are:
- Cereals containing gluten
- Sesame seeds
- Sulphur dioxide and sulphites at levels above 10mg/kg or 10mg/litre expressed as SO2
All pre-packed foods, including those supplied to caterers, require allergen labelling, even if the food or its ingredients are not required to declare ingredients under the Food Labelling Regulations 1996. The regulations do not currently apply to foods sold loose or pre-packed for direct sale, however.
To see how allergen labelling will apply to food sold loose and to caterers from 13 December 2014 onwards, see this Seafish Guidance Sheet.