What are the 14 Allergens? Everything You Need to Know

22 March 2021

What are the 14 Allergens? Everything You Need to Know

Food businesses currently need to tell customers if any food they provide contain any of the 14 major allergens listed as an ingredient. (Some people may be allergic to other ingredients that do not need mandatory highlighting, but these are intended to be identifiable from the ingredient list.)

From October 2021, the way food businesses must provide allergen labelling information for Prepacked for Direct Sale (PPDS) will change. Foods will need to have a label with a full ingredients list with allergenic ingredients emphasised within it.

These changes will provide essential information to help people with a food allergy or intolerance make safe food choices.
 

Research suggests food businesses are moving in the right direction

 

New research from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has found that food businesses’ handling of allergens has significantly improved since new regulations came into force in 2014. The regulations make it mandatory to provide information to consumers about the presence of 14 allergenic ingredients in food. The findings of the research reveal a dramatic improvement in provision of allergen information and better food safety for consumers. The report found:

  • Better provision of allergen information: the vast majority of the 2,303 food business operators surveyed said that they provide written or verbal information about each of the 14 allergens they sell.
  • Improved allergen labelling policies: 95% of food businesses said they have a written (83%) or informal policy (12%) on allergen labelling – up from 60% in 2012. This includes a large majority of market traders. Of 55 market traders surveyed, 93% had written (78%) or informal (15%) policies.
  • Better checking of allergenic ingredients: almost all (99.9%) of food businesses had processes in place to check if a product contains allergenic ingredients – up from 92% in 2012. Nearly nine in ten food businesses (86%) check or audit the ingredients they obtain from suppliers and wholesalers (71% in 2012).
  • More training for staff: half of food businesses had undertaken formal training on food allergens (49%), up from a third (34%) reporting this in 2012. Almost all food business operators provided staff with allergen information (99%), most commonly through verbal training (90%).

 

Learn about the food standards agency allergens below:

 

Celery

This includes celery stalks, leaves, seeds and the root called celeriac. You can find celery in celery salt, salads, some meat products, soups and stock cubes.

Cereals containing gluten

Wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan wheat/Kamut), rye, barley and oats is often found in foods containing flour, such as some types of baking powder, batter, breadcrumbs, bread, cakes, couscous, meat products, pasta, pastry, sauces, soups and fried foods which are dusted with flour.

Crustaceans

Crabs, lobster, prawns and scampi are crustaceans. Shrimp paste, often used in Thai and south-east Asian curries or salads, is an ingredient to look out for.

Eggs

Eggs are often found in cakes, some meat products, mayonnaise, mousses, pasta, quiche, sauces and pastries or foods brushed or glazed with egg.

Fish

You will find this in some fish sauces, pizzas, relishes, salad dressings, stock cubes and Worcestershire sauce.

Lupin

Yes, lupin is a flower, but it’s also found in flour! Lupin flour and seeds can be used in some types of bread, pastries and even in pasta

Milk

Milk is a common ingredient in butter, cheese, cream, milk powders and yoghurt. It can also be found in foods brushed or glazed with milk, and in powdered soups and sauces.

Molluscs

These include mussels, land snails, squid and whelks, but can also be commonly found in oyster sauce or as an ingredient in fish stews

Mustard

Liquid mustard, mustard powder and mustard seeds fall into this category. This ingredient can also be found in breads, curries, marinades, meat products, salad dressings, sauces and soups.

Nuts

Not to be mistaken with peanuts (which are actually a legume and grow underground), this ingredient refers to nuts which grow on trees, like cashew nuts, almonds and hazelnuts. You can find nuts in breads, biscuits, crackers, desserts, nut powders (often used in Asian curries), stir-fried dishes, ice cream, marzipan (almond paste), nut oils and sauces

Peanuts

Peanuts are actually a legume and grow underground, which is why it’s sometimes called a groundnut. Peanuts are often used as an ingredient in biscuits, cakes, curries, desserts, sauces (such as satay sauce), as well as in groundnut oil and peanut flour.

Sesame seeds

These seeds can often be found in bread (sprinkled on hamburger buns for example), breadsticks, houmous, sesame oil and tahini. They are sometimes toasted and used in salads

Soya

Often found in bean curd, edamame beans, miso paste, textured soya protein, soya flour or tofu, soya is a staple ingredient in oriental food. It can also be found in desserts, ice cream, meat products, sauces and vegetarian products.

Sulphur dioxide (sometimes known as sulphites)

This is an ingredient often used in dried fruit such as raisins, dried apricots and prunes. You might also find it in meat products, soft drinks, vegetables as well as in wine and beer. If you have asthma, you have a higher risk of developing a reaction to sulphur dioxide.

 

Marka – Fully comply with Natasha’s Law

 

Easily print fully compliant labels including nutrition information, allergens, costs & ingredient declaration.
Allergens are intuitively detected and highlighted as you create your recipes.

  • 14 standard allergens managed
  • Ability to add your own if required
  • Allergens detected & highlighted

Contact us to find out more or to book a demo