Sligo food businesses reminded of legal obligation regarding allergens
Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) is encouraging food businesses
in Sligo to provide consumers with allergen information on foods. The
FSAI has released the findings of a national
audit that shows an unacceptable level of non-compliance by food
businesses nationwide when it comes to providing consumers with accurate
written information on 14 specified allergens in non-prepacked food.
representative sample of 50 food service businesses
nationwide including cafés, hotels, public houses, restaurants and
takeaways were audited to determine if correct written allergen
information was being provided to consumers.
All food businesses are
legally obliged to provide consumers with accurate written
information in relation to 14 allergens whether the food is prepacked
or non-prepacked. Three in every 100 people in Ireland have a food
allergy and they require accurate information about the food they
purchase in order to avoid serious and sometimes fatal
stress the gravity of the audit findings and further raise awareness of
the legal requirement, the FSAI announced that a national information
campaign will roll out today for eight weeks.
FSAI’s new information campaign will run across, print, online and
broadcast media with strong messages to highlight the potential
consequences that missing or inaccurate allergen information can have
on an individual’s health.
FSAI audited a representative sample of food businesses to determine
their compliance with the legal requirements for the provision of
written allergen information for their customers.
The audit found:
FSAI noted with concern that many of the food businesses that had not
provided written allergen information stated they did not realise that
the information must be made available without
a consumer having to ask for it. In some cases, the FSAI found that
allergen information had been provided, but it was either inaccurate or
not easily accessible for consumers without assistance from staff.
Many of the food businesses audited used online
delivery companies or provided takeaway services, but there was no
information provided to their customers on the allergen content of the
food products being ordered and delivered.
Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI stated that the findings of the
audit are very worrying as they indicate a lack of awareness or
willingness by food service businesses to prioritise the
safety of people with food allergies two years after the law came into
FSAI found that some of the reasons put forward by food businesses for
the high level of non-compliance included confusion and lack of
awareness about the 14 food allergens that must be
declared. Some of the food businesses audited had hired consultants to
help put the allergen information in place. However, they still did not
fully understand the health risks posed by food allergens and that
providing written allergen information to consumers
was an on-going process rather than just a once-off project.
The FSAI’s free online tool MenuCal also provides an easy to manage allergen information system which enables food businesses to easily identify which allergens are in the foods they have prepared.
For more information on how to comply with the legal requirements, food businesses can visit