New rules aim to protect residents with food allergies.
Residents with food allergies can expect better information when they eat out or get a takeaway following the introduction of new European laws being highlighted by Derbyshire County Council.
The council’s Trading Standards team is writing to local food businesses across the county to ensure they know about the changes and offer guidance to ensure they comply with the new rules.
The legislation requires that food outlets like restaurants, cafes and takeaways have to provide important food safety information to their customers.
They must make it clear when the food they sell contains any one or more of a total of 14 allergens.
The new EU rules will also apply to businesses that sell loose food or food that they pack and sell from their own premises.
The 14 allergens are:
• cereals containing gluten namely wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan wheat), barley, rye and oats
• crustaceans like prawns, crabs, lobster and crayfish
• nuts namely almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio, cashew, Macadamia or Queensland nut
• sulphur dioxide or sulphites
• molluscs like clams, scallops, squid, mussels, oysters and snails.
The changes came in to force on 13 December and the county council’s trading standards letter reminds businesses that the law means it is no longer acceptable for them to claim that they don’t know what allergens are in the food that they serve.
Allergy information will need to be clearly indicated on menus, chalk boards or on display labels.
Alternatively the information can be given verbally to customers who should be prompted to ask via a sign or notice prominently displayed on the premises, for example where they would be making their food orders such as at the till, on the menu board or on the menu itself.
The Food Standards Agency website at: http://www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/allergy-guide/allergen-resources will provide help or Derbyshire businesses can contact the council’s trading standards team on 01629 536166. Businesses can also find more information by visiting the trading standards pages on the county council’s website at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards
Residents can also use the county council’s Heart of Derbyshire scheme to find businesses which have pledged to offer food that is free of allergens. Participating Heart of Derbyshire businesses can be found by visiting www.derbyshire.gov.uk/heartofderbyshire