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Free event tells caterers what they need to know about new allergy law

09 Oct 2014
A new EU regulation (Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011) comes into force on 13 December 2014, meaning that caterers must be able to give information to their customers on allergens contained in dishes and drinks on their menu.

To help the industry understand the new legislation, the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland (FSA in NI), the Institute of Food Science & Technology and safefood (the Food Allergy & Food Intolerance Network facilitated by LGC) recently held a one-day event, The New Allergy Law - What Caterers Need to Know, at CAFRE’s Loughry campus in Cookstown.

As well as advice from the FSA in NI, the FSAI and safefood on how to interpret the new legislation and apply it in a catering environment, delegates also heard from a number of speakers including Dr Jenny Hughes, a Consultant Paediatrician at Antrim Area Hospital on the medical aspects of food allergy and Allergy Action’s Hazel Gowland, who has a severe nut allergy.  She is also a Food Advisor to the Anaphylaxis campaign and described what it is like to be food-allergic, how caterers can help and what e-learn resources are available. Paula O'Neill, a senior Environmental Health Officer explained how the new legislation will be enforced in Northern Ireland.

Michael Walker, facilitator of the LGC/safefood Food Allergy & Food Intolerance Network, and one of the authors of a recent paper on Absolute Quantification of Allergenic Proteins in Food said, “We were delighted that over 150 delegates attended this important seminar. Avoiding certain foods is an issue for more and more people. In the UK, it is believed that between one and two per cent of adults and five to eight per cent of children have a food allergy. We felt that organising this seminar was vital to help the catering industry to provide safer food in order to comply with the new law.”

Currently, there are 14 food allergens listed within the EU Regulation that have to have their source or ingredients referred to on foods and alcoholic drinks. They are cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, molluscs, eggs, fish, peanuts, treenuts, soybeans, milk, celery, mustard, sesame, lupin and sulphur dioxide.

Use these links to view the FSA’s guidance and training.   

Click to view The Journal of AOAC International’s key study on traceable Mass Spectrometry-based reference procedures, co-authored by Michael Walker.

Michael Walker introduces a series of short films on the new food labelling regulations (especially for caterers) here.
For further details about the LGC
safefood Food Allergy & Food Intolerance Network, join