Food businesses must declare the presence of food allergens used as ingredients in their foods.
People can be allergic or intolerant to many different foods or food ingredients. However, EU law stipulates that only the use of 14 specific food allergens in producing or preparing a food (including beverages) must be declared. Accurate written information in relation to the 14 food allergens must be provided for consumers in all prepacked and non-prepacked food.
There are 14 allergens that must be declared by law:
- Cereals containing gluten - wheat (such as spelt and khorasan wheat), rye, barley, oats. Note: The cereal name, e.g. 'wheat', must be declared and highlighted, not 'gluten'.
- Crustaceans, e.g. crabs, prawns, lobsters
- Nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecan nuts, brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, macademia/Queensland nut). Note: The name of the nut, e.g. 'almond', must be declared and highlighted, not 'nuts'.
- Sesame seeds
- Sulphur dioxide and sulphites (at concentrations of more than 10 mg/kg or 10 mg/L in terms of total sulphur dioxide) – used as a preservative
- Molluscs e.g. mussels, oysters, squid, snails
Note: there are some derivatives of these allergens which are so highly processed that they are not considered an allergenic risk and so do not need to be highlighted as allergens. View the full list of allergens and exemptions.