Which foods can cause allergy?
In Europe, food allergens are monitored and assessed by clinical and scientific experts through the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). They advise on which foods need to be labelled on pre-packed foods.
Annex II of the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation No.1169/2011 lists 14 food allergens that must always be labelled in pre-packed and non-prepacked foods.
Foods that need to be labelled on pre-packed foods when used as ingredients are:
Cereals containing gluten, namely: wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan wheat), rye, barley, oats
Crustaceans for example prawns, crabs, lobster, crayfish
Nuts; namely almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, macadamia (or Queensland) nuts
Celery (including celeriac)
Sulphur dioxide/sulphites, where added and at a level above 10mg/kg in the finished product. This can be used as a preservative in dried fruit
Lupin which includes lupin seeds and flour and can be found in types of bread, pastries and pasta
Molluscs like clams, mussels, whelks, oysters, snails and squid
For more information on identifying where the above allergens may be used in food see our ‘In the restaurant’ section.