Allergen declarations must be clear and conspicuous, not hidden away. They can be easily visible, legible and accurate.
Information can be given for the entire dish or with components separated to give customers more choice. For example BBQ Chicken Burger without coleslaw for a customer allergic to mustard:
BBQ Chicken Burger and coleslaw (Chicken burger: wheat; BBQ sauce: celery, fish; Bap: wheat, eggs and sesame; Coleslaw: egg, celeriac, mustard).
A variety of methods to declare allergens are permitted - on menus, chalkboards, tickets, labels, orally...
Availability of oral advice should be signposted by a written notice that is clearly visible when the customer chooses food.
Oral information must be verifiable in writing, for example, in a recipe book, ingredients charts and matrices. This is not only to help staff and customers, but also supporting evidence for any defence.
It's not sufficient to say all foods 'may contain allergens'!
- Prepare a dated written record of the allergen information for each dish, for example, in a chart or matrix, or an ingredients information sheet so that records can be checked retrospectively. New records must be prepared every time the menu changes.
- Consider whether the chart can be made available to customers on request.
- Train staff and ensure they always have the most up to date information on dishes and allergens.
- Consider putting allergen data on the website.