Preparing your food business for new allergen rules

When setting up a new restaurant or cafe the information surrounding health and safety can be intimidating. Especially when you begin to look at labelling the foods you provide as a take-out service or adding information onto your menus.

Ensuring your establishment is safe for all those visiting is a huge task. At the beginning of the pandemic, restaurants had to close entirely, or only provide a take out service. This led to many changes in the way people buy and consume food. In early October 2021, the legislation around how food is packed and labelled changed dramatically. The introduction of Natasha’s law is only a recent one and was introduced eighteen months after covid-19 struck the country. With so many rules and regulations, the hospitality industry has had to implement, setting up a new business became full of check-boxes and red tape. 

Natasha’s law came around due to the devastating death of a young girl who purchased a takeaway sandwich which contained specific ingredients she was allergic to. This made way for the new rules around packaging and take-away food. But we are still far from perfect when labelling potential allergens for those who suffer. 

What can you do?

When you are setting up your new business you can ensure you separate all ingredients in the kitchen. Keeping the foods sealed and separate will help reduce the risk of cross-contamination, which isn’t just going to protect those with allergies. Preventing cross-contamination will also prevent harmful bacteria from spreading from raw foods such as meat and poultry to fruits and vegetables. Basic hygiene starts in the kitchen, wearing gloves, and washing your hands will help prevent cross-contamination.

Label your menus.

Sometimes the most simple solution is the most effective. Keeping your menus clear and concise with as much information regarding ingredients is the most effective way. Even if you have created a completely vegan menu, there are allergens which can be present in the substitutions. Allergen Checker’s simple labeling solution is perfect for your hospitality business. It creates a clear and effective system which allows your customers to fully understand what ingredients are in your menus.

What are the 14 allergens?

You may have seen on our homepage the 14 allergens which are found in food. These are: 

  • Celery

  • Cereals containing gluten

  • Crustaceans

  • Eggs

  • Fish

  • Lupin

  • Milk

  • Molluscs

  • Mustard

  • Nuts

  • Peanuts

  • Sesame Seeds

  • Soya

  • Sulphur Dioxide (sometimes known as sulphites)

While 14 main food allergens may not seem like a lot, we can’t forget the various trace allergens which can be found in a multitude of foods. Essentially the new laws mean that you must provide written information regarding the ingredients and potential allergens on either a menu or information pack.

Allergen Checker’s labelling system solves this requirement in an easy and effective solution. Try it out for yourself with a 7 day free trial. 

The information provided in this blog is purely informational. Please speak to your GP for further information on any concerns you have regarding allergies. Sources for information are: