Food Information to Consumers Regulation
The Food Information to Consumers (FIC) regulations, introduced on 13th December 2014, relates to the provision of allergen information for pre-packed and ‘loose’ foods. The primary part of the regulation involves improved labelling and signposting of the presence of fourteen allergens, a number of which are present in Bakery and Food-to-Go products.
The 14 allergens are: Cereals containing gluten (e.g. wheat, barley), Crustaceans (e.g. prawns), Molluscs (e.g. mussels), Fish, Milk, Soya, Eggs, Nuts (e.g. almonds), Peanuts, Sesame, Mustard, Celery, Sulphur Dioxide (above 10ppm) and Lupin.
Wrapped and loose products
For wrapped products allergens now appear in bold in the ingredient declaration. For ‘loose’ items shelf-edge labels now indicate the allergens contained in the product.
For products assembled in-store an ‘Allergens Component List’ is now supplied. To accompany this, shelf-edge labels now state ‘Allergen Advice: Please Speak to a Member of Staff.’
As a food business owner you need to ensure all members of your staff are aware of the new regulations and where, if requested by customers, the information can easily be found and queries answered prior to purchase. As a food business operator you are also responsible for the accuracy and availability of allergen information you provide.