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    Regulator wants to make written allergen information legal requirement for non-prepacked foods

    Source: iStock

    The board of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on Wednesday said they would like to see written allergen information be mandated in the non-prepacked sector.

    The board added that it will be writing to Ministers to discuss its view.

    In the meantime, the FSA will work to develop strong guidance for food businesses on how to provide written allergen information to help drive up compliance and make it easier for people with a food allergy, intolerance and coeliac disease to protect themselves when eating out.

    In addition to providing written information, the board also acknowledged that there should be an expectation for a verbal conversation to take place between customers and food business staff, to ensure an added layer of protection for consumers.

    “In today’s discussions, it was clear that the Board feel that we should set an expectation that food businesses like coffee shops and restaurants provide allergen information in writing as well as having a conversation,” Professor Susan Jebb, chair on the FSA, said.

    “The board also considers that to maximise the likelihood of this happening, written information should be a legal requirement, rather than just guidance. I will write to Ministers in England and Wales, the Permanent Secretary in Northern Ireland and contact my counterpart at Food Standards Scotland to discuss the board’s position as the Board would like to see them take this forward on a four-country basis.

    “I would also like to thank the Carey family for all their work in highlighting the importance of this issue since their son Owen died tragically after unwittingly eating food he was allergic to in 2017.”

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