Food Allergen Labels Keep Customers Safe

Food allergen labels are an increasingly important part of the restaurant experience – especially as allergen labeling legislation like Owen’s Law is introduced to help keep customers safe from food allergies.

What is Owen’s Law for food allergies?

Owen’s Law, a new law supported by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), aims to further protect diners by requiring restaurants to clearly state the allergy information for all menu items. This was introduced by the family of Owen Carey in 2017 after he died of anaphylactic shock from undisclosed buttermilk in a chicken burger – despite telling front of house staff about his allergies.

Owen’s Law would require all allergen information to be clearly printed on the main menu for customers to see. 

Learn more about Owen’s Law:

These regulations, like those of Natasha’s Law, are designed to protect diners and ensure food allergies don’t lead to injury or death in restaurants and other foodservice settings. Proper labelling is the simplest way to help implement these regulations and prioritise customer safety.

Why is food labelling important

As food allergies are a major health issue, with 220 million people affected worldwide, and 40% of children experiencing a life-threatening reaction when encountering an allergen, achieving full transparency through food allergen labelling is the key to keeping customers safe.

Current allergy laws stipulate food allergen labels must highlight allergens on the label using a distinctive font, style or background colour. Allergens must also be listed in the ingredients.

The allergens that must be listed are as follows:

• Celery
• Cereals containing gluten – including wheat, rye, barley and oats
• Crustaceans – including prawns, crab and lobster
• Eggs
• Fish
• Lupin
• Milk
• Molluscs – including squid, mussels, cockles, whelks and snails
• Mustard
• Nuts
• Peanuts
• Sesame seeds
• Soya beans
• Sulphur dioxide or sulphites at levels above 10mg per kilogram or per litre

Food labels also ensure visibility and accountability when preparing food for consumption on-site or for takeaway – and mitigates the risk of reactions from any of the identified food allergens above due to cross-contamination or oversight in the kitchen.

Automated food allergen labelling to ensure safety

Datecodegenie automated food allergen labelling to ensure safety

Labelling ingredients and packaging by hand is a task that can take up to an hour (or more) of precious time in the kitchen. And when things get busy, the likelihood of human error – missing a crucial ingredient like buttermilk – increases as well.

The DateCodeGenie food labelling system makes it easy to keep allergen information accurate and up to date. Not only does it make the entire labelling process easier, printing nutrition information, dietary restrictions and warning labels instantly from a unified dashboard, but it also makes mandated regulation changes, e.g., Owen’s Law described above, easier to manage as well with changes added quickly and easily for one or many restaurant locations.

DateCodeGenie allergen labelling helps kitchen staff:

  • Keep allergen information accurate, consistent, and current
  • Ensure all allergens are properly marked during food prep
  • Prioritise food safety and transparency for takeaway and delivery food items

Keeping consumers safe and happy is ultimately the goal of any foodservice establishment. NCCO is here to help ensure food safety, protect against food allergies and comply with allergy legislation like Owen’s Law and other regulations to come.


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