Charities could be fined for flouting allergen rules

Soup kitchens from Cheshire to London that do not display information about potential allergens in their food could be fined up to £5,000.

The penalties, which would also affect institutions like the Women’s Institute and charity cafes, could be implemented after new EU regulations have come in to force. These state that 14 ingredients that are known to cause allergic reactions must be highlighted by any organisation that provides un-packed food on a regular basis. The products that need to be listed include nuts.

This new ruling also applies to supermarkets, which must now list allergens for their loose deli and bakery items.

Speaking to the Nottingham Post about the changes, Nigel Adams from Hope, which manages a community café and is looking to open up a soup kitchen in 2016, said that the charity ”physically couldn’t afford such a large fine”.

He added:

“We have been given hardly any information apart from what I have picked up in the media. We are quite lucky because with our food bank the food is already packaged and our cafe serves very simple food. It is mainly the same stuff each day so once we have sorted out the allergen information then that’s it.”

The new rules will mean that soup kitchens and other institutions will either have to produce and hand out menus to visitors, or have allergen information on display somewhere else. This could be online or on the walls of the premises, where they can easily be checked.

Posted by Peter
January 23, 2015
Community kitchens

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