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Facilities Management Journal July 2014

ADVICE & OPINION LEGISLATION The number of people being treated in hospital for allergic reactions to foods is on the increase, with food allergies, intolerances and Y people in the UK. At the end of this year, allergen labelling rules will be changing to meet the requirements of the new EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation 1169/2011. The new regulation aims to improve nutritional and allergy information for consumers, thereby helping them to make informed choices about which foods to eat, to enhance their welfare and protect themselves from poor health. The regulation applies to all food business operators at all stages of the food chain where their activities concern the provision of food information to consumers. This means that all establishments or suppliers, including online suppliers, providing food and drink products will need to make full allergy information available to their end customers. Trading Standards will be enforcing the new regulations from December 2014 and non-compliance could lead to prosecutions. In the UK, many food business operators are already preparing for the requirements that will be needed to comply with the legislation. From 13 December 2014, there will be changes to existing legislation on labelling allergenic ingredients in prepacked foods, and all food businesses will also be required to provide allergy information on unpackaged food sold in all catering outlets, restaurants, 12 JULY 2014 cafés, deli counters, bakeries and sandwich bars. This represents the : labelling rules in 30 years and will / food businesses communicate with consumers. 4 /#!': / emphasised in the ingredient information in one location. They are: • cereals containing gluten • crustaceans • eggs • fish • peanuts • soybeans • milk • other nuts, including almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios, cashews and macadamia nuts • celery (and celeriac) • mustard • sesame • sulphur dioxide, a preservative found in some dried fruit • lupin • molluscs, including snails and squid This means that the voluntary use of the current types of allergy boxes Š B9 ‹ a short cut to allergen information also given in the ingredients list, will no longer be allowed. PRE-PACKED FOODS Allergens must be emphasised in the ingredient list on the label of pre-packed foods by a variety of means, such as listing them in bold or italics, underlining or highlighting words, or, for example with the use /B) B% can choose which method they want to use to emphasise these, by means of font, style, colour or background. Allergen boxes are no longer adequate; however, they may be used to direct consumers to the allergens highlighted in the ingredient declaration. Any allergenic processing product, even if in an altered form, needs to be listed and highlighted and in the absence of ingredients, for exemptions such as alcohol, the B the name of the allergen. Mandatory labelling information must be given priority over any voluntary labelling information and all mandatory requirements must be given in minimum font size. NON PRE-PACKED FOODS Complete and accurate information /$ allergens, and any products derived from these ingredients, appear in unpackaged foods or foods which are wrapped on site. The information can be supplied on the menu, on chalkboards, on tickets, or provided 5%Q the method, the signposting of information is to be clear and conspicuous, easily visible and legible, and not hidden away. The food provider cannot simply say it does not know whether a food contains an allergen or that the food B % Businesses at all stages of the food chain have a responsibility under the new legislation. The onus is on all sections of the supply chain, but to varying degrees to ensure that the information is accurate and will not supply food that they know or believe to contravene the law. However, the food operator whose name appears on the label or, in the case of non-prepacked who ultimately supplies the # ) information being provided. & 6 the food industry by simplifying the law, ensuring legal certainty and reducing the administrative burden of previous legislation. However, the regulation gives food authorities, such as the Food Standards Agency in the UK, the power to take action to ensure compliance. Action can be anything from a low level intervention, such / /# # 5# depending on the severity of the %Q there will be a period of tolerance to change labelling from the old to the new style, possibly within six weeks following an enforcement, it is prudent that all food operators start their preparations now. Facilities managers are well advised to take a strategic approach to ensuring that their food service, any external providers, and supply chain is making preparations for the onset of the new regulations which could include taking expert advice, reviewing suppliers and carrying out 5 % CATERING FOR ALLERGENS Around 10 cases hit the UK news each year of deaths caused by severe anaphylactic allergen shock and many more go unreported. The number of recognised deaths, caused by the unsuspected consumption of allergens in food from restaurants, schools, colleges and takeaways, along with the new EU legislation which will come into force at the end of this year, have alerted and galvanised the industry. Diana Spellman, managing director of Partners In Purchasing, one of the UK’s leading catering procurement agencies, sets out what the new legislation means for caterers and facilities managers


Facilities Management Journal July 2014
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