This was something I had to read at work today, so I cut and pasted it and thought i'd share. I think it will make it easier to find out if something is vegan, so long as we take into account the may contain issues.
Allergens in food
New EU law has listed 14 allergens that need to be identified if they are used as ingredients in a dish.
This means that from 13 December 2014, all food businesses will need to provide information about the allergenic ingredients used in foods sold or provided by them.
There are also new requirements for businesses which are providing loose food, such as supermarket food counters, delicatessens, restaurants and takeaways. As a food business serving loose foods, you will have to supply information for every item on your menu that contains any of the 14 allergens as ingredients.
How to provide this information
Details of these allergens will have to be listed clearly in an obvious place such as on a menu, by displaying it on a noticeboard – a chalkboard or whiteboard for example or by providing some form of information pack.
A menu board may need to display this information if any of the foods contain one or more of the 14 allergens.
There are 14 major allergens which need to be declared when used as ingredients. The following list tells you what these allergens are and provides some examples of foods where they may be found:
Celery This includes celery stalks, leaves and seeds and celeriac. It is often found in celery salt, salads,
some meat products, soups and stock cubes.
Cereals These include wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan wheat), rye, barley and oats. They are often
found in foods containing flour, such as some baking powders, batter, breadcrumbs, bread,
cakes, couscous, meat products, pasta, pastry, sauces, soups and foods dusted with flour. The
cereal will need to be declared. However, it is up to you if you want to declare the presence
of gluten with this.
Crustaceans These include crabs, lobster, prawns and scampi. They are often found in shrimp paste used in Thai curries or salads.
Eggs These are often found in cakes, some meat products, mayonnaise, mousses, pasta, quiche,
sauces and foods brushed or glazed with egg.oodsIn
Fish This is often found in some fish sauces, pizzas, relishes, salad dressings, stock cubes and in
Lupin This includes lupin seeds and flour, and can be found in some types of bread, pastries and pasta
Milk This is found in butter, cheese, cream, milk powders and yoghurt. It is often used in foods
glazed with milk, powdered soups and sauces.
Molluscs These include mussels, land snails, squid and whelks. They are often found in oyster sauce or
as an ingredient in fish stews.
Mustard This includes liquid mustard, mustard powder and mustard seeds. It is often found in breads,
curries, marinades, meat products, salad dressing, sauces and soups.
Nuts These include almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio nuts,
macadamia or Queensland nuts. These can be found in breads, biscuits, crackers, desserts, ice
cream, marzipan (almond paste), nut oils and sauces. Ground, crushed or flaked almonds are
often used in Asian dishes such as curries or stir fries.
Peanuts These can be found in biscuits, cakes, curries, desserts and sauces such as for satay. They are
also found in groundnut oil and peanut flour.
Sesame seeds These can be found in bread, breadsticks, houmous, sesame oil and tahini (sesame paste).
Soya This can be found in beancurd, edamame beans, miso paste, textured soya protein, soya flour
or tofu and is often used in some desserts, ice cream, meat products, sauces and vegetarian
Sulphur This is often used as a preservative in dried fruit, meat products, soft drinks and vegetables as
dioxide well as in wine and beer.
When preparing a dish, it is important to ensure that staff think about the ingredients being used in the recipe
and that they then carefully record the ones which are used in each dish. When using prepacked foods as an
ingredient in a recipe, remember that some products, such as tinned or dried food, have a long shelf life. This
means that your staff may see both types of labelling (old and new) being used on these products for a few years
after the December 2014 implementation date.
The most important thing here is to ensure that training reinforces to staff that they MUST ‘Always remember
to read the label!’
To help to identify which dishes contain allergens, your catering manager should:
ensure that containers are clearly labelled, for ingredients which are delivered in bulk, and then transferred or stored in smaller containers
make sure that staff are aware of where this allergen information is stored and how it is kept ensure that the allergen information is kept up to date (for example, if recipes are changed or products substituted)
always check deliveries to make sure what is delivered is what was ordered. Ensure that the relevant labelling information is provided with the order
make sure that any records are updated, to help trace back to the source of your information
check that the food delivered is the same brand that is normally used, as different brands might have different ingredients
make sure that your kitchen staff use the same recipes every time
keep a copy of the ingredient information on labels of pre- packed foods for example, sauces, desserts etc
keep ingredients in the original containers where possible, or keep a copy of the labelling information in a central place (either on paper or stored electronically)
As a food business, it is your responsibility to know which allergenic ingredients are present in the foods you sell. Where you have a group of foods such as cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, fish, nuts and molluscs,
you will need to say what they are; for example wheat, prawns, cod, almonds and mussels .
Make sure the allergen information is accessible to all staff and that it is kept up-to-date. You can get more information at the following URLs: