Food labelling and allergens

The requirements relating to the labelling of food in England and Wales are contained in Regulations that implement EC Directives.

It is difficult to provide a simple summary of the requirements because the legislation is very detailed and can vary according to the type of food.

More information about food labelling [external link]

What's the different between 'best before' and 'use by' dates? [external link]

Guidance for Butchers on the labelling of loose foods [pdf document]

From 13 December 2014 The Food Information Regulations 2014 (FIR) will change the way that businesses provide nutritional and allergen information to consumers and make food labels clearer.

There are several different ways that businesses can give allergy information to their customers. Information on the specific allergens and the different options are given in the booklet “Allergen Information for Loose Foods” [pdf document].

Businesses selling loose food (for example, restaurants, cafes, hotels, sandwich shops, takeaways, bakeries, delicatessens) will have to provide accurate information on specific allergens [jpeg image] and will no longer be able to say that they don’t know if any of the specific allergens are in the food they serve. 

Businesses also need to address the issue of allergen cross contamination and train their staff about food allergens. The Food Standards Agency provide an on-line course [external link].

Manufacturers and packers selling food to other businesses will have to label in accordance with EU Regulation 1169/2011. From 13 December 2016 there are requirements about minimum print size for labels, declaration of nutrition information, allergens and the type of vegetable oil used. Further information on these changes are given in the booklet “Allergy - What to consider when labelling prepacked food” [pdf document].

Further details on the other main changes to food labelling [external link].

Various eLearning training packages, such as “Food Information to Consumers Introduction” [external link].

There are also two Power Point presentations available in this section to help you:

Food Information Regulations 2014 Legislation and Enforcement [power point presentation] Legislation and Enforcement - pdf version [pdf document]

Food Information Regulations 2014 Guidance and Compliance [power point presentation] Guidance and Compliance - pdf version [pdf document]

For further information from Darlington Borough Council contact:

Environmental Health Section
Town Hall 
DL1 5QT 
Telephone : 01325 405111