News article

New allergen law to come into force

17 July 2019


Full ingredients must be labelled for foods which are prepacked for direct sale from summer 2021

The government plans to introduce the new legislation this summer which will mandate full ingredients labelling for foods which are prepacked for direct sale. The change will come in effect by summer 2021. 

The upcoming change is the result of a UK-wide consultation, launched in January, which sought views on updating food allergen labelling laws for foods prepacked for direct sale.

Current rules 
Prepacked foods for direct sale' are foods that have been made and packed on the same premises from which they are being sold. For example, a packaged sandwich or salad made by staff earlier in the day and placed on a shelf for purchase.

Currently, these foods are not required to carry labels and information on allergens, as it is expected that the customer can speak with the person who made or packed the product for this information. This has led people mistakenly assuming that the food does not contain any allergens.

Many food businesses have already taken steps to improve food labelling. Others who have yet to make changes are being urged to do all they can ahead of the implementation date to help consumers make safe food choices.