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Food Allergen Labelling Explained UK

What are the 14 allergens? Why are they important? What is Natasha’s Law? How do I display the allergens on my label? We discuss all of this in our latest blog post.

Here at Auto ID Systems, we supply a lot of our labels to the food industry, there are a lot of rules and regulations regarding what you should put on a label for a food product. In this blog post, we’re going to explain how you can label your produce correctly when it comes to allergens.

What are the 14 food allergens?

There are 14 allergens you must include on your food label if they’re in your product, these allergens can be deadly to people so it’s critical you get this right. The 14 allergens are:

  • Celery
  • Cereals containing gluten (e.g., barley & oats)
  • Crustaceans (prawns, lobster, crab)
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Lupin
  • Milk
  • Molluscs (mussels & oysters)
  • Mustard
  • Peanuts
  • Sesame
  • Soybeans
  • Sulphur dioxide & sulphites
  • Tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews etc)

Natasha’s Law

Back in 2016, Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, a 15-year-old teenager, bought an artichoke & olive baguette at a well-known franchise, Pret A Manger. There was no specific allergen information on the baguette’s label – it was not required by law as it was made on the premises. This baguette had hidden sesame seeds in the bun and Natasha tragically died after suffering an allergic reaction to the seeds.

We’re now getting closer & closer to the implementation of Natasha’s Law in England, this law comes into effect in October 2021 and requires food that is prepared on the premises to have a full list of ingredients on. This gives people who have allergies more peace of mind when buying food out.

If your business is going to be affected by this change, you should already be preparing for it as you don’t want to be rushing to implement this at the last minute.

How do I display food allergens on my product?

There are two ways to make it clear which allergens are present in your food product. One way you can do this is to make the text bold on your ingredients list. For example:

Ingredients: Water, canola oil, vinegar, cheese (5%), soya, garlic, basil, mustard, wheat cornflour…..

Here, you can easily see each allergen highlighted, your customer doesn’t have to read through every single ingredient to find them.

Another way to display allergens is to display a ‘contains:’ statement, for example:

Contains: cheese, soya, mustard, wheat

If your product is made where there may be a risk of cross contamination, you can include a ‘may contain:’ statement or something similar, for example:

May contain traces of nuts

or

Made in a factory that also handles products containing nuts

These examples will help you properly label your produce.

Where to find a label supplier for food products

If you’re looking to get started on making your own custom labels for your product, Auto ID Systems can help.

We can supply you with blank labels if you have a printer already and are wanting to print them yourself or we can work with you and become your food label supplier. We can print your ingredients & allergens on our labels along with your logo & address.

Contact us today and we can talk you through everything you’ll need for food labelling, we can supply you with the labels as well as all of the label machines that are ideal for the food industry including applicators, dispensers, splitters, rewinders and more.