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Food allergies are reactions to certain types of food, which can cause serious illness and death.
The main types of food allergens which cause allergic reactions are:
It is a legal requirement for food allergen information to be provided for foods sold non-packed or pre-packed for direct sale. E.g. from takeaways, restaurants, cafes and sandwich shops.
The following information provides guidance on the legal requirements when declaring and labelling allergens:
Foods may become cross contaminated with allergens during the preparation and cooking process.
This can happen by contaminated work surfaces, cooking utensils, handling of food, and ‘hidden’ ingredients’ (e.g. in dressings, oils and sauces).
To help prevent cross contamination, it is important to carry out the following practices:
Make sure food being asked about has only been in contact with equipment (e.g. spoons, mixers etc) which has been washed properly.
Make sure food being asked about has not been in contact with the allergen or food containing the allergen (e.g. through shared storage or preparation areas).
Oil that has already been used to cook other foods should not be used to cook the food being asked about (e.g. oil used to cook prawns could cause a reaction in someone who is allergic to shellfish).
Make sure the food being asked about has not been in contact with the allergen on someone’s unwashed hands.
For further information on food allergy advice for caterers see Food Allergy & Intolerance Guidance for the Catering Industry from the documents section.
If you require help with something in this section, please contact us.