The new requirements
As of 13 December 2014, the 14 most common allergenic ingredients must be clearly highlighted, e.g. by bold or italic script. According to the new directive, foods that are not pre-packed, such as non-packaged bread, sausage products or buffet foods, must also be labelled.
This regulation applies to bakeries, butcheries, restaurants and cafeterias. In Germany, information about the ingredients in non-packaged goods can be communicated in writing, orally or electronically. Written documentation must be easily available upon request, for example, in the form of an information sheet or a special menu.
In sales or food service establishments, a clearly visible notice must be posted, informing customers about how they can receive information on the 14 allergens.
The mandatory provision of information also applies to processing products and additives that are used in production. Exceptions are made for substances that lose their allergenic potential during processing or production. These exceptions are named in the EU regulation.
The 14 most common allergens are:
- Cereals containing gluten: wheat (including spelt and Khorasan wheat), rye, barley and oats
- Milk (including lactose)
- Nuts: almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts and Queensland nuts
- Sesame seeds
- Sulphur dioxide and sulphites (starting from 10 milligrams per kilogram or litre)