Additives and E-numbers

European legislation requires food additives to be assessed for safety before they can be used in food.

E numbers on additives mean they’ve passed safety tests, and have been approved for use here and in the rest of the European Union. Find out more about additives and e-numbers on

Read more about compliance with the requirements of revised European Union food additives legislation, which applied from 1 June 2013.

'Southampton Six' food colours

Cnsumption of mixes of certain artificial food colours and the preservative sodium benzoate could be linked to increased hyperactivity in some children. For more information on the artificial colours and preservatives, see