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© FSAI Catering for Food Allergies: The Legal Perspective Clodagh Crehan Food Safety Authority of Ireland 30 th October, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "© FSAI Catering for Food Allergies: The Legal Perspective Clodagh Crehan Food Safety Authority of Ireland 30 th October, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 © FSAI Catering for Food Allergies: The Legal Perspective Clodagh Crehan Food Safety Authority of Ireland 30 th October, 2008

2 © FSAI FSAI mission To protect consumers’ health and consumers’ interests by ensuring that food consumed, distributed, marketed or produced in the state meets the highest standards of food safety and hygiene.

3 © FSAI Catering for Food Allergies – The legal perspective - Overview Introduction to Legislation General Food Law EU Labelling Directive Interpretation and limitation of requirements FSAI Interpretations Application of requirements by caterers FSAI Support information – ‘Safe Catering’ pack

4 © FSAI

5 Introduction to Legislation General Food Law: Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002 European Regulation which sets basis for all food law Article 14 refers to ‘unsafe food’

6 © FSAI Introduction to Legislation

7 © FSAI Labelling Directive DIRECTIVE 2000/13/EC ‘General Labelling Directive’ Applies to pre-packaged foods delivered to the ‘ultimate consumer’ Also applies to supply of foods to restaurants, hospitals, canteens and other mass caterers* Article 3 specifies the compulsory requirements on labels (with some exemptions).

8 © FSAI Compulsory labelling requirements the name under which the product is sold the list of ingredients the quantity of certain ingredients (QUID) the net quantity the date of minimum durability any special storage instructions or conditions of use the name or business name and address of the manufacturer or packager or a seller with the EU place of origin if its absence might mislead the consumer to a material degree instructions for use where necessary beverages with more than 1.2% alcohol by volume must declare the actual alcoholic strength

9 © FSAI Labelling Directive: DIRECTIVE 2003/89/EC ‘Allergens Directive’ Amends the original Directive to include requirements to label specific ingredients. As an amendment, the scope is confined to that of the original Directive – pre-packaged food.

10 © FSAI Labelling Directive 2003/89/EC Allergen Cereals containing glutenWheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut + hybrids CrustaceansCrab, lobster, crayfish, shrimp, prawn etc. Eggs Fish Peanuts Tree nutsAlmonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, Brazil nuts, pistachios, macadamia

11 © FSAI Labelling Directive 2003/89/EC Allergen Soybeans MilkLactose Celery and celeriac Mustard Sesame seeds Sulphur dioxide and sulphatesOver ten parts/million SO 2 * Directive 2007/68/EC provides a comprehensive list of the allergenic ingredients or substances derived from those ingredients - Amends Annex IIIa of Directive 2000/13/EC

12 © FSAI Labelling Directive 2006/142/EC Two additional ingredients – lupin and products thereof molluscs and products thereof have subsequently been added in 2006, which comes into effect from 23 rd December 2008 Transposed into Irish legislation by S.I. No. 808 of 2007

13 © FSAI Interpretation The requirements apply to packaged products The presence of the allergen – or derivatives of the allergen – must be declared e.g. where whey powder is used as an ingredient, the label must declare the product contains milk. Where the name of the food clearly indicates the presence of the allergen, no extra declaration is required e.g. Almond Cake Dairy products like Cheese, Yogurt, Butter do not have to have separate allergen declaration for milk

14 © FSAI Interpretation Where the ingredient list includes the allergen, separate labelling is not required – provided that it is in a recognised form. e.g. E220 – Sulphur Dioxide

15 © FSAI ‘Contains’ Box The legislation does not state how the information is to be given and in many cases, retailers choose to label a ‘contains’ box on their products. Contains Egg, soya and milk

16 © FSAI Interpretation Supply to Caterers: Packaged products supplied to caterers must comply with the general and allergen labelling provisions. There is an exemption which allows some of the information - such as ingredients - to be on commercial documentation rather than the actual product labels. As the allergens Directive amended the original directive, the presence of allergens can be on commercial documents also.

17 © FSAI Interpretation The use of ‘May contain…’ is not covered by the Directive. The FSAI view is that it is not good practice to use such terms, as manufacturers should have HACCP and Good Manufacturing Practices which prevent cross contamination. Excessive use of such terminology is likely to limit choice and potentially mislead consumers.

18 © FSAI Interpretation Products which are prepared and packaged on site do not have to include allergen labelling on labels. e.g. a fast food outlet or delicatessen preparing and packing sandwiches, salads etc for display and sale from the premises are only required to put the name of the food on the label.

19 © FSAI Application in the Catering Sector

20 © FSAI Caterers Recap: Food supplied to caterers must indicate the presence of allergens– either on food labels or accompanying documentation. The labelling Directive does not, however, apply to food sold in restaurants, take-away, fast-food, cafés and similar establishments Q: So what are the caterers obligations?

21 © FSAI Caterers As a food business operator, caterers are obliged to comply with the General Food Law. This includes supply of ‘safe’ food In simple terms, caterers should be able to advise consumers whether the food being served contains allergens...

22 © FSAI Caterers Food Safety Authority of Ireland Training Guides Level 1 & 2 (Food Service, Retailing and manufacturing Level 2 Additional Skills includes provisions relating to food allergens: Workers should be able to describe allergens and to take necessary precautions to prevent cross contamination of foods containing allergens Associated employers support activities include: knowing which allergens are present, an ‘allergen plan’ to organise delivery/storage production and cleaning to prevent cross contamination and some form of ‘warning system’ to be able to identify which products contain allergens to inform consumers

23 © FSAI Level 3: Skills for Management Contains further skills for managers of food businesses which includes taking “reasonable steps to ensure customers are aware of allergens”. Requires identification of allergens in use, preventing cross contamination Ensuring staff are trained (as previous slide) Provide information to consumers Caterers

24 © FSAI ‘Safe Catering’ Pack A joint initiative between FSAI and FSANI working in partnership with representatives from catering sector and EHOs. A food safety management pack developed to help small catering businesses such as restaurants, cafés and takeaways comply with food safety requirements.

25 © FSAI ‘Safe Catering’ Pack Includes a section providing advice on food allergies: Symptoms of allergies Lists the food that can cause reactions Provides information on how to control allergens in a food business

26 © FSAI ‘Safe Catering’ Pack Provides a step-by-step safety point check list relating to informing customers of presence of allergens, keeping ingredient information and preventing cross contamination. All the allergens covered by the regulations are detailed in the pack Explains the possible effects of allergens on customers Provides information for staff on ‘What to do if things go wrong’ and a customer has a severe allergic reaction.

27 © FSAI Caterers In considering whether caterers have met the obligations under food law, a food business operator which has followed the FSAI training requirements or has implemented the advice in the ‘Safe Catering’ pack will most likely be able to show they have exercised due diligence in assessing and controlling the allergen risk to customers

28 © FSAI Limitations Consumers have a wide range of allergies to different foods – not all are covered by the current regulations No legal obligation to label food in catering and similar establishments with allergen information (but must be able to advise customers when asked)

29 © FSAI Enforcement Enforcement of the allergen labelling and general food law requirements is carried out by environmental health officers.

30 © FSAI New Labelling Proposal Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Provision of food information to consumers. The Commission in its proposal has extended mandatory allergen labelling to apply to both food sold loose and pre-packaged for direct sale, including catering establishments.

31 © FSAI Summary There is a general requirement in European Law to provide safe food. Allergen labelling requirements are an extension of the general labelling requirements and apply to ‘pre-packaged’ products The allergen labelling requirements only cover specific allergens Caterers will have sufficient information to inform consumers of the risk  Caterers will need to show ‘due diligence’ in controlling the risk and providing accurate information about their food  The FSAI has developed support material for food business operators

32 © FSAI Food Safety Authority of Ireland Any questions? Advice Line: Web:

33 © FSAI


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