Allergen labelling

All community or charity food operations, such as cafes or community lunch clubs, that are required to be registered as a food business, must comply with the Food Information Regulation 2014.  

Information must be given about fourteen main allergens, which are used as ingredients in food and drink. 

If your church offers food but is not registered as a food business you are not legally required to provide information to consumers about any allergens present in the food.

For example, foods served during coffee mornings and voluntary outreach events or Holy Communion services, would not be classified as food businesses.

However, in such cases, it would be good practice to provide allergenic ingredient information for the foods served to enable those with food allergies to make an informed choice.

14 Allergens

You must tell your customers if any food products you sell or provide contain any of the main 14 alleregns as an ingredient.

  • Celery
  • Cereals containing gluten – including wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan), rye, barley and oats
  • Crustaceans – such as prawns, crabs and lobsters
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Lupin
  • Milk
  • Molluscs – such as mussels and oysters
  • Mustard
  • Tree nuts – including almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Soybeans
  • Sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if they are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million)

This applies also to the additives, processing aids and any other substances which are present in the final product. For example, sulphites, which are often used to preserve dried fruit, might still be present after the fruit is used to make chutney. If this is the case, you need to declare them.

More information please visit the foods standards agency, or the government website both of which provide comprehensive guidance in respect of food labelling:

www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/allergen-guidance-for-food-businesses

www.gov.uk/guidance/food-labelling-giving-food-information-to-consumers