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Food allergy regulations for business

Although most allergic reactions to food are mild, some can be very serious or fatal.

Food allergies can be life threatening and the only way people can deal with a food allergy is to avoid the foods that make them ill. An oversight by a food business – such as serving someone food to which they are allergic – can damage the reputation of the business, as well as cause serious harm to the customer. Food allergens cannot be removed by cooking. This is why it’s essential to practise good kitchen hygiene, as well as careful separation, storage and labelling of ingredients when preparing food.

Providing food allergy information to customers

Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers contains a list of 14 substances or products which may cause food allergies or intolerances. When any of these are used as ingredients in prepacked foods their presence must be emphasised in the ingredient list so that they clearly stand out from the other ingredients.

When used in foods sold non-prepacked, information on their presence must be available for potential consumers prior to purchase. This may be provided on a menu, chalkboard, shelf label or verbally.

Download a poster that details the 14 substance causing allergy or intolerance and where these allergens can be found.

If you would like to learn more about food allergen labelling, our free online food allergy training deals with the requirements regarding the provision of allergen information.

More on this topic



A free, secure, online tool that supports food businesses to manage allergen information and calculate calories in the food they serve.


Allergy Poster

Download a poster detailing the 14 major allergens that must be mentioned when used as ingredients on food.


Labelling & Composition Standards

Food Standards Scotland has policy responsibility for food information, food labelling, food standards and nutrition labelling in Scotland.