Food allergens and labelling


  1. Overview
  2. Food business responsibilities
  3. Allergenic ingredients
  4. Pre-packed for direct sale food
  5. Training
  6. More information


Local authority Environmental Health Officers work with food businesses to ensure that they have good allergy management arrangements in place.

Businesses, whether they are food producers, suppliers, restaurants or catering companies, must make sure they can manage and handle allergens safely.

When our Council officers inspect food businesses they check that food handlers have a good awareness and understanding of the effects that food allergens can have on their customer's health if they suffer from a food allergy.

Food handlers must be able to:

  • identify whether the foods they handle contain allergenic ingredients
  • know how to control food allergens
  • provide accurate information to customers when asked about food allergens

Raising the profile of food allergy safety to businesses

We are also working with other local authorities in the North East to highlight the dangers of food allergies and what businesses must do.

We've produced a series of short videos which will help businesses meet the legal requirements.

YouTube: Allergens in Food

Food business responsibilities

Your food business is required to provide allergy information on all foods containing allergens as ingredients, whether sold pre-packed (wrapped) for direct sale or loose (unwrapped).

This applies to any food business where food is prepared for consumption by customers.

This would include businesses such as restaurants, canteens, schools, hospitals, deli counters, bakeries and catering outlets. It also relates to operations based from a vehicle, or a fixed or mobile stall.

The allergenic ingredients must be clearly stated and emphasised through a typeset that distinguishes it from the remainder of the text. 

It must be highlighted by a different font, style or background colour. 

Where a dish contains several allergenic ingredients, each must be clearly indicated.

This is a requirement of the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU FIC) (No.1169/2011).

Allergenic ingredients

  • peanuts
  • nuts (almond, hazelnut, walnut, cashew, pecan, Brazil, pistachio, macadamia and Queensland nut)
  • fish
  • eggs
  • crustaceans
  • sesame seeds
  • milk
  • soybeans
  • celery
  • mustard
  • lupin
  • molluscs
  • cereals containing gluten (for example, wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt and kamut)
  • sulphur dioxide and sulphites (>10mg/litre)

Pre-packed for direct sale food

New legislation was introduced in 2021 regarding foods that are pre-packed for direct sale products. These are foods that have been packed on the same premises from which they are being sold.

Common foods that can fall into this category include sandwiches, salads and pies made and sold from the premises in which they are made.

From October 2021, the way food businesses provide allergen labelling information for this type of food changed.

Foods will need to have a label with a full ingredients list with allergenic ingredients emphasised within it.

These changes will provide essential information to help people with a food allergy or intolerance make safe food choices.

For more information, see Food Standards Agency: Allergen labelling for pre-packed for direct sale food.


We've produced a series of short videos with our regional partners, see YouTube: Allergens in Food. These provide easy to understand guides to the legislation and provide practical guidance on what you need to do.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute have also produced some useful videos, see Chartered Trading Standards Institute: Food Allergen Awareness. These are available in a number of different languages. 

The Food Standards Agency have an online food allergy and intolerance online training course. To access this course, visit Food Standards Agency: Allergen Training.

More information

Contact Environmental Health on 0191 427 7000 or

Or see GOV.UK: Food labelling - giving food information to consumers.