Latest information from FSA regarding allergens labeling for cookery schools:
The new Regulation on the provision of food information to consumers brought EU rules on general and nutrition labelling together into a single regulation to simplify and consolidate existing labeling legislation. Most of the provisions of the new rules, specifically the highlighting of allergens in the list of ingredients and its information provision on non pre-packed foods, including those sold in restaurants and cafes, including the catering sector applies from 13 December 2014. The requirement covers both food and drinks containing allergenic ingredients and allergenic ingredients information of the meals/drink served will have to be conveyed to the consumers so that those who have food allergies can make an informed choice .
The provision of allergen information in non pre-packed foods and foods from catering outlets has flexibility in how businesses provide this information to consumers, including orally. However, if businesses choose to provide information orally, then they must provide a notice to say that such information can be obtained from staff. This statement can be on a notice or on the menu ticket or label and must be easily recognised and noticed by consumers at the place where they choose the food.
Cookery schools covering food allergens and its management and the requirement to provide allergenic ingredients information as part of their curriculum with students needing to know and be able to apply the knowledge relating to the control of food ingredients, including allergens, at all stages of food purchase and production. They will need to understand the process for ensuring that accurate ingredient information is available for consumers at point of sale and service and the importance of communication at all stages.
The Agency has developed a new free interactive food allergy training tool. It highlights steps that should be followed to make sure good practice is used in the manufacture and production of food and was designed for enforcement officers but may also be of interest to anyone wanting to learn more about food allergy issues. This can be found at http://allergytraining.food.gov.uk/default.aspx
It is the responsibility of each catering sector to devise a systems or means of providing allergenic ingredients information as required by the Food Information Regulations.
The Regulation on the provision of food information for consumers and other useful resources produced by the Agency to help businesses comply with the legislation can be found at
Stella West-Harling MBE, President of the Independent Cookery Schools’ Association said ” We are still in the process of trying to obtain a definitive answer from the FSA about how this may or may not affect cookery schools. It has been over two months now. It seems that this legislation was launched before the implications for cookery skills training had been thought through and whilst we are doing our best as an organisation to deal with this, we are hampered by the lack of clarity in the actual legislation meaning we cannot give our members guidance until FSA respond”.
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