Pubs must ensure their pre-packaged food has a list of ingredients to protect customers with allergies, the Food Standards Agency has said.

The FSA has recommended that government ministers adopt strict new rules, which include highlighting the 14 major allergens.

It comes following the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who had eaten a sandwich from Pret a Manger back in 2016.

The Food Standards Agency Chair, Heather Hancock said: "Food allergies and intolerance affects millions of people and its impact can be as big or bigger than almost all other foodborne diseases.

"That is why we have concluded that more extensive food labelling is the right outcome to provide greater protection for consumers but introduced in a way that we can be confident will work.

"While it is impossible to eliminate the risks entirely, we consider that this change along with other measures we are prioritising will deliver more effective protection for allergic consumers.

At the moment, in relation to food made on the premises, information about allergen ingredients should be recorded with product specification sheets, ingredient labels, and recipes or explanations of the dishes.

However, it is worth remembering that it is the responsibility of the customer to tell you about their food allergy or intolerance. Once they have, the pub then has a duty to provide the allergen information. This information should then be backed up in writing to ensure its accuracy and consistency.

The three crucial elements are: how food allergens are handled; how information is given to the customer; and how staff can be trained about allergens.

The 14 allergens:

 

  • Cereals containing gluten, namely: wheat (such as spelt and khorasan wheat), rye, barley, oats
  • Crustaceans for example prawns, crabs, lobster, crayfish
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Milk (including lactose)
  • Nuts; namely almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, macadamia (or Queensland) nuts
  • Celery (including celeriac)
  • Mustard
  • Sesame
  • Sulphur dioxide/sulphites, where added and at a level above 10mg/kg or 10mg/L in the finished product. This can be used as a preservative in dried fruit
  • Lupin, which includes lupin seeds and flour and can be found in types of bread, pastries and pasta
  • Molluscs like, mussels, whelks, oysters, snails and squid

 

 

 For more info check out our guide to everything you need to know here