September 2004 

The New Food Allergen Labelling Regulation - How will it affect you?

"Celery?" Surprise was expressed by a Member at a recent F&HN meeting that celery is an ingredient that must be labelled from 25 November 2004 under the new Food Labelling (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2004.
The ingredients covered are:

  • Cereals including gluten
  • Crustaceans
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Milk
  • Nuts (namely, almond, hazelnut, walnut, cashew, pecan nut, Brazil nut, pistachio nut, macadamia nut and Queensland nut)
  • Celery
  • Mustard
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sulphur dioxide and sulphites at levels above 10mg/kg or 10mg/litre expressed
    as SO2

This has significant impact on most food businesses not only for the breadth of ingredients covered but also for additional powers such as removing the 25% compound ingredients exemption.

The enforcement date (8 weeks away) lends immediacy to you joining the other food companies in the new Allergy Cluster of the F&HN. We are holding the first meeting of the Cluster on Thursday 14th October at IFR where the new Regulation is one of the subjects being discussed, along with practical advice and insight from IFR as the UK institute leading food allergy research in Europe. The meeting is free to attend for cluster members, or £150 for non-members who may want to first "try" the Cluster. Call Lesley Swift on 01603 255082 or email to immediately reserve
your place.

So, why include celery? (Incidentally, this includes celeriac.) Well, in the UK it may not be a common allergy but in Germany it is more prevalent. This geographical aspect to food allergy also demonstrates the need for knowledge by NPD professionals and food import/exporters; a product developed for one country may not be wholly appropriate for another. Examples include:

  • peanut allergy - significant in the UK yet either very rare or unheard of in Indonesia and parts of Africa, even though peanuts are commonly eaten in these countries

  • peach - a common food allergen in Spain

  • allergy to birch pollen in parts of Northern Europe, which leads to cross-reactivity in some people and an allergic response to apple

Makes you think, doesn't it? Contact Lesley to reserve your place.

Advance notice

The second meeting of the Allergy Cluster is planned for 7th December 2004, at IFR.

Food & Nutrition Cluster Meeting - 27th October 2004 - Food Labelling, at IFR
With IFR speakers, and external contributions from Jean Feord from Leatherhead RA and Michelle Smyth from the Consumers Association.
Remember, you can attend even if you are not a Food & Nutrition Cluster member, but there will be a fee. Contact Lesley Swift on 01603 255082 or email for more information, or to reserve your place.

Essential UK food safety workshop

If you're involved in improving the safety of food products you need to know about ComBase Workshops on ComBase have been presented all over the world including the FDA training centre in Washington, USA in August. The next one is in London.
Venue details: 4th November, 2004 at the Food Standards Agency, registration deadline is 21st October
Subject: ComBase, an international database of bacterial responses to food, which can be used to predict microbial responses to food environments and to generate simulations of microbial growth/survival for risk assessment
Cost: £100
Prerequisites: Basic PC skills, use of Microsoft Excel. Participants must bring their own Laptop with Windows 2000 or higher operating system & Microsoft Excel installed
Presenters: IFR's Computational Microbiology Team: Jòzsef Baranyi, Carmen Pin &
Yvan Le Marc

Call Lesley Swift on 01603 255082 or email to immediately reserve your place.

New members of the Food & Health Network

Welcome to:

  • Monsanto
  • Bernard Matthews
  • Charles Wells Brewery

Recent News

Report on recent 'Quality through Shelf-Life' Cluster Meeting
Apart from talks, this meeting included a tour and demonstration of the imaging techniques that had been discussed. We had very positive feedback from attendees, so we plan to repeat the talks+tours concept when the topic is suitable.

UK Industry publishes Manifesto for Food and Health
"FDF's Food and Health Manifesto sets out the UK food and drink manufacturing industry's commitment to work constructively with consumers, Government and others to help find solutions to the issues surrounding obesity and the food and health
debate generally."
FDF link is at

Next 'Brief' will come out in November

Food & Health Network, IFR Enterprises Ltd, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich, NR4 7UA, UK
Email: Tel: +44 (0) 1603 255000 Fax: +44 (0) 1603 507723