Starting 13 December 2016, the European Parliament and European Council replaced 7 and amended 2 directives on nutrition, food safety and allergen labelling. As a result, it is no longer possible for hotels, restaurants and caterings to provide information on dishes causing allergies or intolerances only and simply upon request by the consumer. The information on 14 allergens must be provided in written form.
What is required under the EU 1169/2011 regulation?
Allergens that need to be labelled on pre-packed foods when used as ingredients are:
- A: Cereals containing gluten
- B: Crustaceans
- C: Eggs
- D: Fish
- E: Peanuts
- F: Soybeans
- G: Milk (including lactose)
- H: Nuts
- L: Celery
- M: Mustard
- N: Sesame seeds
- O: Sulphur dioxide and sulphites
- P: Lupin
- R: Molluscs
The list above contains the correct naming of all 14 allergens as well as the allergen's letter code as recommended by the Codex Commission.
It is possible to mark dishes (e.g. on a restaurant menu) with a Codex letter code or a food allergen icon. It is, however, necessary to provide an adjacent information sheet.
Allergen labelling must be provided in written form
A hospitality establishment must provide written information at one of those points:
- the point of presentation (e.g. chalkboard or menu),
- the point of sale (e.g. café counter), or
- the point of supply (e.g. buffet table),
If guests are being explicitly told (verbally or in writing) that allergen information is available, a written information sheet or booklet with complete allergen information must then be provided to the guest. Simply indicating verbally which dishes contain allergens is no longer a satisfactory measure.
The Menutech software, which is compliant with EU 1169/2011 regulation, comes with allergen information about thousands of dishes, so that you can ensure that all allergens are adequately labelled. Furthermore, once allergen information is stored, it is automatically retrieved on next use. This means you will never have to label allergens twice!
European Commission - Directorate for Health and Food Safety: Guidelines relating to the provision of information on substances or products causing allergies or intolerances as listed in Annex II of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers