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New Allergen Legislation

On 13th December 2014 The EU Food Information for Consumables Regulations Act comes into force meaning legally any business providing food must now communicate, either in writing or verbally, if any of the following 14 key allergens are included in the ingredients:

Eggs, gluten, milk, shellfish, molluscs, fish, peanuts, sesame, soya, sulphur dioxide, nuts, celery, mustard and lupin.

In most cases information will be clearly marked on menus but the onus will fall on restaurant managers and owners to offer a much higher level of training to their staff so that they feel confident in communicating which dishes do contain the key allergen ingredients and offering suitable alternative suggestions.

Whilst this may seem like just more red tape to be got through it is easy to underestimate how much trade is lost to businesses by customers with severe allergies who do not feel comfortable or confident in eating out, especially families with young children who are often the worst affected.

It is hoped that this legislation will give allergy sufferers the peace of mind to enjoy eating out more, and as these suffers normally make the decision on where to go businesses that adapt menus and offer more allergy friendly choices should definitely benefit from increased trade.

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