Do you have a food allergy or intolerance? If so, food businesses must tell you if they use any of these 14 allergens in the food and drink they provide. This includes all restaurants, cafes, takeaways and food manufacturers.
The 14 allergens 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
On pre-packed food, the allergens are highlighted on the packaging either in bold, italics or coloured types to make it easier to spot.
If you are eating out or using takeaways the information on allergens must be provided in writing. This can either be in the menus or on a written sign asking you to speak to staff if you have a particular allergen or intolerance.
Some food may have a “may contain” or a “not suitable for” label to warn customers of particular allergens/intolerances that may be present in the product. If this applies to you then do not eat the food.
When you eat out or order from a takeaway or food establishment you should always where possible:-
- Check the menu beforehand
- Try to call the business ahead of time and discuss what foods are suitable for you
- Be very clear about your allergy/intolerance
- Always speak to a manager or someone you feel understands your needs
- Ask about the risk of cross contamination from cooking equipment/utensils
- Check the allergen information is up to date and ask about recipe changes or substitutions
If in doubt, do not order.
If you have any questions or would like further advice then please contact Environmental Health on 0151 443 4712 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Further advice can be found at www.food.gov.uk