The RAI is working to lobby for a change in the Allergens legislation which came into effect on 13th of December 2014.
For the time being, should you have an inspection from an EHO, they will be looking to see that you are making an effort to implement the allergen information in your restaurant/café/gastro pub/hotel.
There are two options available in relation to implementing allergens on your menus:
1) You can have a central folder at the main counter or cash register that contains the allergen details for each of your dishes. We have created an excel sheet template for you to insert your menu items into. You list your menu items down the left hand side column, and then place a tick or x in the box where the allergen is contained. Download the template here.
You must have a clearly visible sign on display to indicate that this allergen menu folder is available. These posters have been sent to all members of the Restaurants Association of Ireland. You can download each poster here: Allergen Poster and Customer Awareness Poster.
With this option, all of your current menus should have a notice stating:
“The food allergens used in the preparation of our food can be viewed in the separate menu available at the counter/cash register. Please ask a member of staff if you need additional information on food allergens”
2) The second option is to list allergens on each of your menus. The easiest way to do this is to have a shorthand system as below. Under each menu item, list the letters corresponding to the allergens in that particular dish.
“All 14 allergens are openly used throughout our kitchen. Trace amounts may be present at all stages of cooking”.
Gluten = G
Crustaceans = C
Eggs = E
Fish = F
Molluscs = M
Soybeans = S
Peanuts = P
Nuts = N
Milk = MK
Celery = CY
Mustard = MD
Sesame Seeds = SS
Sulphites = SP
Lupin = L
Please note that displaying allergen information applies to both your food menu and drinks menu, as well as daily specials on a blackboard! We would advise that you contact the FSAI helpline for questions: 1890 33 66 77
Click here to read the information guide provided by the FSAI.