Label Wrapping Within the EU

Spending time in supermarkets reading though untold numbers of food labels is something all people with allergies have in common. But what are the standards behind the legislation? How can we trust what foods to eat and what to avoid?

In the European Union (EU) at least, there is legislation that must be followed aiming to protect the health and safety of those with food allergies. Essentially the rules up to December 12th 2014 state that all pre-packaged foods must present the inclusion of the following 14 allergens and the products made from them; gluten containing cereals (wheat, oats, barley, rye), crustaceans, eggs, fish, peanuts, soybeans, nuts, milk, celery, mustard, sesame, molluscs, lupin and sulphur dioxide at levels above 10mg/kg, or 10 mg/litre, expressed as SO2."

Several products of the above antigens have been excluded from inclusion as they have been deemed refined to a level where they cannot cause an allergic reaction, such as; barley based glucose syrups, lacitol and fish gelatin used as a carrier for vitamin preparations. For the full list see the source articles below. This has been further improved since December 13th 2014 to include food sold non-packed or prepacked for direct sale. The information for this News Article was sourced from the Food Standards Agency, Legislation 2007/68/EC and Legislation 1169/2011.

Labels with allergy advice