Environmental Health

Find out which are the legal requirements for food businesses in terms of allergens.

Allergens information

When someone has a food allergy or intolerance, eating even a small bit of that food can make them very ill. Sometimes they could even die.

So, when you run a food business, it’s very important for you to take food allergy seriously. You can find out more by watching the information videos below.

What are the legal requirements for food businesses?

It is a legal requirement under the Food Information Regulations 2014 for a food business to provide details of any food that may cause an allergy or intolerance to its customers.

This can be provided in written form, such as on menus, or on a website; verbally over the telephone when taking orders; or in person.

If the food is pre-packed before being ordered or sold it must have full ingredients and allergen labelling applied to the packaging.

What types of allergens are there?

There are 14 allergens listed in legislation, these are:

  • Peanuts - in sauces, cakes, desserts, groundnut oil, peanut flour
  • Nuts - in sauces, desserts, crackers, bread, ice cream, marzipan, ground almonds, nut oils;
  • Milk - in yoghurt, cream, cheese, butter, milk powders, foods glazed with milk;       
  • Soya - as tofu or bean curd, soya flour and textured soya protein, in some ice cream, sauces, desserts, meat products, vegetarian products;         
  • Mustard - including liquid mustard, mustard powder and mustard seeds, in salad dressings, marinades, soups, sauces, curries, meat prod​ucts;    
  • Lupin - lupin seeds and flour in some types of bread and pastries;
  • Eggs - in cakes, mousses, sauces, pasta, quiche, some meat products, mayonnaise, foods brushed with egg;  
  • Fish - in some salad dressings, pizzas, relishes, fish sauce and some soy and Worcestershire sauces;   
  • Shellfish - such as prawns, mussels, scampi, crab, oyster sauce, shrimp paste;    
  • Gluten - in cereals such as wheat, rye and barley and foods containing flour, such as bread, pasta, cakes, pastry, meat products, sauces, soups, batter, stock cubes, breadcrumbs, foods dusted with flour;
  • Sesame seeds - in bread, breadsticks, tahini, humus, sesame oil;
  • Celery - including celery stalks, leaves and seeds and celeriac, in salads, soups, celery salt, some meat products;        
  • Sulphur dioxide - in meat products, fruit juice drinks, dri​ed fruit and vegetables, wine, beer;         
  • Molluscs - these include mussels, land snails, squid and whelks, but can also be commonly found in oyster sauce or as an ingredient in fish stews.

The foods listed are common examples, but you must check the labels of all foods to be sure.

Information for Businesses

For food businesses, more information including resources and free on-line training is available at Allergen guidance for food businesses | Food Standards Agency

Information for Consumers

As a consumer, you can find helpful advice about eating out and preparing food at home for people with food allergies at  Food allergy and intolerance | Food Standards Agency.

Here you will also find specific advice for teenagers and young adults with food allergies and you can report allergic, intolerance or coeliac reactions by following a link on the web page.

Where can I get more information?

If you require any further information, please contact the team.

Contact Details

Environmental Health (Commercial) Team,