The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched a consultation on draft voluntary guidelines that would require caterers and retailers to label all foods containing allergens that could cause illness or death among susceptible consumers.
Under current law, only pre-packed foods have to list allergenic ingredients.
The FSA wants to extend allergen labelling to foods that have not been pre-packed, (such as those sold in restaurants, bakeries, delis and salad bars) and to foods that are pre-packed on the premises for sale, such as sandwiches and meat pies.
Key allergens are: peanuts and other nuts, fish, eggs, crustaceans, sesame seeds, milk, soybeans, celery, mustard, sulphur dioxide and sulphites, and cereals containing gluten (wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut).
The deadline for submissions is 27 September. Go here for more details of the consultation.
By Angela Frewin