What are the food standards agency allergens I need to consider?

Running or owning your own restaurant or food service comes with a myriad of rules and regulations. There are many things you need to consider when you deal with food. Health and safety should always be a top priority for any restaurateur. From Allergens to cross-contamination, down to cleanliness, you need to be on top of it all to receive the highest hygiene ratings.

What is the Food Standards Agency?

The Food Standards Agency is a part of the government that is responsible for Food Safety, and Food Hygiene across the UK. They work with local authorities to ensure that all food safety regulations are upheld and that staff work to ensure that standards are met.

The Food Standards Agency protects public health in all food-related industries. Without the FSA, the many establishments we have available to us as consumers wouldn’t be safe for many people, especially those with food allergies.

What are the main allergens I need to list?

There are 14 main allergens you need to be conscious of when listing allergens in your menus. Below we have listed the main allergens along with some surprising products that may contain the ingredients. It is always important to check each label for allergens when you are cooking fresh meals.

1. Celery

  • Some meat products

  • Soups

  • Stock cubes

2. Cereals containing gluten

  • Batter

  • Couscous

  • Meat products

  • Pastry

3. Crustaceans

  • Prawns

  • Scampi

  • Shrimp paste (often used in Thai and south-east Asian curries or salads)

4. Eggs

  • Some meat products

  • Mayonnaise

  • Mousse

5. Fish

  • Relishes

  • Salad dressings

  • Worcestershire sauce

6. Lupin

  • Some types of bread

  • Pastries

  • Pasta

7. Milk

  • Foods brushed or glazed with milk

  • Powdered soups

  • Powdered sauces

8. Molluscs

  • Land snails

  • Squid

  • Oyster sauce

9. Mustard

  • Breads

  • Curries

  • Marinades

10. Nuts

  • Stir-fried dishes

  • Ice cream

  • Sauces

11. Peanuts - Separate from other nuts

  • Curries

  • Desserts

  • Sauces (such as satay sauce)

12. Sesame seeds

  • Bread e.g. sprinkled on hamburger buns

  • Houmous

  • Tahini

  • Salads

13. Soya

  • Desserts

  • Ice cream

  • Sauces

  • Vegetarian products

14. Sulphur dioxide

  • Dried fruit such as raisins, dried apricots and prunes

  • Meat products

  • Wine and beer

Why do I need to label my menus?

All foods that are prepacked for takeaway purposes need to be labelled as part of the legal requirements stated on the FSA website.

It is also important to include allergen information on your menus as this helps provide clarity for those who suffer from severe allergies. Having vague information on your menus could make you liable if someone were to have a reaction due to the items on your menus.

What is Natasha’s law?

Natasha’s law came into regulation when a young girl tragically lost her life due to a severe allergic reaction to a pre-packaged takeaway sandwich. Natasha’s law states that all food outlets are required to provide full ingredient lists with clear allergen information on the labels. This law is set to help prevent unnecessary allergic reactions and severe side effects caused by those reactions.

Food safety couldn’t be more important, with a large part of the population suffering from one or more allergies you need to not only protect the people but protect your business. Allergen Checker offers a clear and concise labelling system that not only works within the FSA regulations but also for your customers.

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: