Allergen Advice for Pubs

Napthens - August 12th 2014

From December 2014, under new EU rules, restaurants and pubs will have to ensure that customers are warned about any allergens in their food. If premises fail to due this, the Food Business Operators (FBOs) could be punished by way of a criminal prosecution and an unlimited fine to be decided by a Magistrate.

Information regarding any of the 14 allergens should be “easily accessible and visible and clearly legible to the final consumer regardless or whether they have a food allergy or not”. This information can be provided either orally or in writing. Of course, if this information is offered in writing, it is important to keep it updated, something which may prove onerous if the information is included in, for example, menus.

If the allergen information is provided orally, there has to be clear sign-posting, either through food menus, chalkboards, food order tickets, food labels or webpages, to direct the customer as to where the information can be found, such as by asking members of staff. Members of staff should receive training in relation to allergen information and how to provide it to customers. Also, it is recommended that any allergen information provided to staff should be in a recorded form to provide consistency, and perhaps to have one member of staff nominated to provide this information.

The 14 allergens are as follows:

  • Cereals
  • Crustaceans
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Milk
  • Nuts
  • Celery
  • Mustard
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sulphur dioxide and sulphites
  • Lupin
  • Molluscs