Food: Allergies

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 14th June 2021.

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Photo of Justin Madders Justin Madders Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of rules on food labelling for safeguarding people with allergies.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Food Standards Agency is undertaking an ongoing programme of work to improve the quality of life for people with food hypersensitivity, which includes responsibility for the provision of allergen information and labelling. All food businesses are under a legal obligation to provide information on the presence of the 14 major allergens in food and this information can be provided in different ways depending on how the food is packaged.

New labelling rules for ‘prepacked for direct sale’ food are being implemented across the United Kingdom from 1 October 2021 and require full ingredients listing, with the 14 allergens emphasised. This change means more types of food will now be labelled with allergen information.

For those who are hypersensitive to foods not in the major allergens list, the Food Standards Agency recommends that consumers check the ingredients list on prepacked food and speak to businesses when they purchase non-prepacked food.

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