The new legislation identifies 14 food allergens which must be identified on product packaging.

Previously this information was listed separately (i.e. this product contains nuts) but now they must be marked within the ingredients list.

Ingredients list for allergen information

These are: Celery, cereals containing gluten, crustaceans (e.g. prawns or crab), eggs, fish, lupin, milk, molluscs (e.g. clams or mussels), mustard, nuts, peanuts, sesame, soybeans and sulphur dioxide.

Where the allergen is not obvious from the name of the ingredient, this will need to be clearly referenced next to the ingredient in question e.g. 'casein' (milk) or 'tofu' (soya).

Companies can use different methods of emphasis, including: bold, italics, highlighting, contrasting colours, CAPITALISING TEXT and underlining, but either way the allergens should be easily identifiable at a glance.

An allergy advice statement may still be used on the packaging – this will direct consumers to the ingredients list for allergen information.

  • Use of statements such as 'Contains: milk, nuts' to summarise allergens ingredient information will no longer be allowed.
    The only exception to this is for products that do not have an ingredients list, such as wine where a 'contains: sulphites' may be used.
  • 'Gluten' no longer allowed
    Instead the cereals which contain gluten (such as wheat, rye and barley) will be emphasised in the companies' chosen method.

Last reviewed: 11 Dec 2014