Allergens

As a food business, you must follow the allergen information rules set in EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU FIC).

This means that you must:
  • provide allergen information to the consumer for both pre-packed and non-prepacked food or drink
  • handle and manage food allergens adequately

You also need to make sure that your staff are trained about allergens.

This will not change after a no deal Brexit. 

There is lots of info and guidance on how you should be managing and communicating allergens information at the Food Standards Agency website.

In the event of a no deal Brexit we can expect disruption to supply of some ingredients. If ingredients in dishes change then caterers need to be prepared to update their allergen information customers accordingly. To help you prepare for this we have compiled a quick checklist.

  • Refresh staff knowledge on the 14 allergens and everybody’s responsibilities regarding the subject. It may be good to refresh any training previously given before the 31st October.
  • If a substitute ingredient has to be used in a dish then the accompanying allergen information for that dish must be updated accordingly.
  • Check ingredients (particularly pre packaged and manufactured) to ensure you are aware of their ingredients and allergens and note any changes or differences to the original produce.
  • Tell staff if any changes occur and provide them with updated allergen information for each dish prior to service.
  • Communicate with customers. Let them know the steps you have taken and changes made, this will provide reassurance that you have considered their needs. They may ask for further information and you should have this prepared for them as required by the legislation.


Nutrition Standards

The sector engages with a range of nutritional standards, both voluntary and mandatory. Government has committed to no ‘watering down’ of nutritional standards in the event of no deal Brexit. If you are used to operating to a set of nutritional standards, use the links below to check how you are meeting them.

Remember that substitutions or alterations to dishes due to lack of supply may mean that dishes or menus become non-compliant with your sector’s standards. Whilst it is difficult to provide detailed guidance to each sector particularly when not knowing which ingredients might be in short supply, here are some top tips to think about:
  • As with Allergens it may be a good idea to retrain (key) staff on these standards prior to the 31st October. 
  • Keeping lines of communication open with suppliers will be important in ensuring that you can prepare in advance for any changes required.
  • Keep a set of your sector’s standards nearby when placing orders so that you can refer to them in the event a product is not available.
  • Be prepared to use ingredients you may be less familiar with. For instance in maintaining the use of oily fish on menus salmon could be substituted by trout.
  • Communicate with customers. Let them know the steps you have taken and changes made and why you have done so

Talk to us

As the leading Food and Farming charity in the UK we provide a wealth of free information, advice and guidance to the catering sector.

You don’t have to be a Food for Life licensee to benefit from this free service.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for on these pages, get in touch with our dedicated team by:

Emailing us at brexitcatering@foodforlife.org
Calling us on 0333 230 9275


The Brexit helpline is free to all UK cost sector caterers until 31st October, however Food for Life Served Here licensees and Food for Life Awards holders will be able to get their usual support direct from their Awards Officer after this date.