Food: Allergies

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 12 July 2023.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Carol Monaghan Carol Monaghan Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Education), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Science, Innovation and Technology)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve labelling for people with allergies to legumes and pulses on (a) restaurant and (b) shop-bought food products.

Photo of Neil O'Brien Neil O'Brien The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has policy responsibility for food safety, including food allergen labelling, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and Food Standards Scotland are responsible for food allergen labelling in Scotland. Food businesses have a duty to inform customers about 14 mandatory allergens which are recognised across Europe as the most common allergenic ingredients of public health concern. Pulses and legumes (with the exception of peanuts) are not included in the list of 14 mandated allergens. The prevalence of allergy to pulses and legumes in the United Kingdom is currently unknown, though any emerging evidence will continue to be assessed as it becomes available.

Food businesses who sell prepacked or prepacked for direct sale foods, such as food-to-go, are required to provide a full list of ingredients, and to highlight the 14 allergens on packaging. Those with an allergy or intolerance to foods outside of the 14 mandated allergens should be able to check the ingredients list and avoid the foods they need to.

For non-prepacked food, such as food served in a restaurant, the food business must provide information on the presence of any of the 14 allergens. They can do this in writing or verbally. People with food hypersensitivities should ask if the food they wish to avoid is used in any of the dishes. If in doubt, or the information cannot be reliably provided, the advice is to not eat at the premises.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes2 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.