Allergens

New food allergens regulations for childcare providers

In September 2014 the Government announced some changes to regulations on food allergens and new duties were placed on childcare providers.

From December 2014, childcare providers in England and Wales were required to comply with The Food Information Regulations 2014.

The EU law has listed 14 allergens that need to be identified if they are present in food or used as ingredients in a dish. This regulation introduced a requirement for all food businesses, including childcare providers, to give information about the allergenic ingredients used in any food they serve.

Food allergens pose a significant risk to consumers with allergies, which may even be life threatening.  Children are particularly vulnerable because of their reduced level of control over the foods they eat.  As a childcare provider you will already be aware of children with allergies.

As a childcare provider, it is your responsibility to ensure that you provide allergen information for the food you serve.  This must be made available to parents/carers, and be accurate, consistent and verifiable. You are not being asked to list all the ingredients in the food that you produce, you just need to document the allergens contained.  This information needs to be maintained and made available to parents/carers and local authority officers when requested. When you are asked if a certain dish contains an allergen, you should be able to answer confidently. Check your labelling regularly as manufacturers ingredients can change.

Nippers Nutrition is here to help you and have been able to source information from the Food Standards Agency to create a range of materials, making it easy to implement the new regulations in your setting. This includes an A4 document listing all of the allergens that you can display in your setting and use in the kitchen and a double sided A5 document that can be useful for parents/carers. Finally there is an A4 grid listing all the allergens that you will need to complete for all your snacks and main meals. This is a word document that you can fill in for each menu and print off.  This is a useful tool for both parents and local authority officers.  As an extra resource we have designed an allergy card that can be handed out to those children that have food allergies.

If you require any further advice please contact either Liz or Shelley or email nippersnutrition@cornwall.co.uk