KNOW your ingredients, AVOID cross contamination, LISTEN to your customers
It is important that businesses are aware of their obligations and take adequate precautions
when preparing, packaging and serving food to customers with a food allergy. Food allergy is a growing problem and can cause serious reactions causing illness or even death.
- What food allergens MUST be declared on packaged food labels?
Food containing peanuts, tree nuts (e.g cashews, almonds etc), eggs, milk, fish, crustaceans (e.g prawns, lobster, etc), sesame, soy, gluten and sulphites must be clearly labelled on all packaged foods.
- What are my legal obligations for the declaration of common food allergens?
Consumers have the legal right to receive written or verbal information on allergen content on request. Food businesses are in breach of the Food Standards Code if:
- accurate allergen information is not on a packaged food label;
- accurate allergen information is not given by staff to a customer if requested for unpackaged food made at the premises;
- an allergen is found in a food that was requested by the customer not to contain an allergen/s (Example - a customer specifically asked for a meal that is gluten free).
- What precautions can I take?
Food business can implement a number of proactive measures to ensure that they are taking allergy precautions in the preparation, handling and packaging of foods.
Simple measures can be implemented such as labelling all packaged foods, ensuring all staff members known the ingredients included in all menu items (and can inform customers if requested), avoiding cross contamination when preparing allergen free meals and keeping surfaces, utensils and hands clean when preparing food.
- Where can I gain more information?
Food businesses are encouraged to develop a process for taking precautions when preparing foods for customers with allergies. Further information and advice is available from Council's Sustainability Department on telephone 80 80 3340 or by contacting the following organisations:
NSW Food Authority - Web: www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au Ph: 1300 552 406
Anaphylaxis Australia - Web: www.allergyfacts.org.au Ph: 1300 728 000
Be Prepared be Allergy Aware (PDF - 1539.69KB)