Allergen and nutritional information for caterers
European Food Information to Consumers Regulation No. 1169/2011 (FIC)*
December 2014 saw the introduction, by the EU, of new rules concerning food labelling. The FIC 1169/2011 regulation brings together EU rules on general food labelling and nutrition labelling into one piece of legislation. The legislation requires all catering and food service operators throughout the UK to meet the new requirements, following the timetable of introduction shown below:
13 December 2014
The majority of the new rules now applicable to all pre-packed foods, whereby allergen information must be emphasised in the ingredients list. For non-prepacked foods (including catering), allergen information must be made available to consumers.
1 April 2015
Introduction of rules concerning country of origin information for meat from sheep, pigs, goats and poultry now apply.
13 December 2016
Mandatory nutrition labelling will be required for most pre-packed foods and this must be presented in a consistent format.
The FIC legislation relates specifically to allergen and nutritional labelling laws, and applies to all suppliers, catering businesses and foodservice organisations, irrespective of their size and category. So whether you’re the owner of a small independent café, run an outdoor event catering company, manage a restaurant, gastro pub, care home, coffee shop or fast food outlet — please make sure you are aware of, and compliant with, the European Food Information to Consumers Regulation No. 1169/2011 (FIC).
* Source: Food Standards Agency website, accessed at 1 January 2016. For more information go to: https://www.food.gov.uk/enforcement/regulation/fir/labelling
As a caterer, what are my obligations under the new FIC regulation?
All foodservice operations and caterers, serving unpackaged food or packaging food on site for consumption immediately, will need to be able to supply details of the menu items, which contain any of the EU’s 14 major allergens within the dishes they serve.
Details of the 14 major allergens will need to be clearly listed in a visible place i.e. menu or chalkboard. You are required to provide a breakdown of allergens for ALL dishes listed on your menu.
How can First Choice Foodservice help?
As an Erudus registered wholesale supplier, First Choice Foodservice has access to over 25,000 products and their related allergen / nutritional information. By linking our own products with those on the Erudus database, this valuable information is available free of charge to all registered First Choice Foodservice customers.
As a first step, and First Choice Foodservice customer, you can now register to receive your unique Erudus user name and password. This will provide you with access to all of our products and their related allergen and nutritional information.
Can I claim that I wasn’t aware of the new allergen legislation?
No. you will no longer be able to state that you “do not know” if any of the 14 major allergens are present in the menu item. Likewise you can no longer state that ALL foods “could” or “may contain” any of the allergens.
As the end user caterer, you are required to be able to provide evidence in writing, of your claims, if the menu item does not contain any of the 14 major allergens, if asked to do so from your end customer. This is where Erudus for caterers can help.
What’s the big deal if I don’t bother to comply?
We strongly recommend you take notice and take the necessary steps in order to avoid contravening the new rules. Failure for non compliance and not having the correct processes in place, could, and potentially will, result in large fines (£000s) being issued from your local Environmental Health Officers, who are tasked with enforcing the new FIC legislation.
How can Erudus help me as a caterer?
With the help of the Erudus online resource, you can be confident that you are meeting the European FIC regulations concerning allergen and nutritional labelling requirements:
- Complete nutritional breakdown Erudus provides a comprehensive nutritional breakdown for the products you’re purchasing from your food service/wholesale partner.
- Allergen information See at a glance if a product contains any of the 14 major allergens and if it is suitable for special dietary requirement e.g. Vegetarian.
- Available 24/7 Erudus is an online application available 24/7. So you can check the nutritional or allergen information on the products you’re serving, any time, day or night.
- A trusted data source The products’ technical specifications come straight from the manufacturer and undergo a series of ongoing validation checks to ensure the data you see is accurate. We work with food manufactures of all sizes from regional suppliers to multi-national brands.
Further information on Erudus and how it can help you as a caterer, can be found at: www.erudus.com
Register to use Erudus here
Please complete your details in the following form. First Choice Foodservice will then contact you with full details of how you can get access to the applicaton.
If you are not a registered First Choice customer, you will need to open a trading account with us, before we can complete your Erudus application. Account enquiries can be made here.
If you have any questions or would prefer to give us your details over the phone, please call us on 01283 531821.