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What are the 14 Major Allergens?

December 17th , 2018 by

The FSA states that “you must provide information about allergens to your customers if they are used as ingredients in the food and drink that you provide.” (FSA; Safer Food Better Business January 2018.)

Below is a list of the 14 major allergens which need to be mentioned (either on a label or through provided information such as menus) when they are used as ingredients in a food, and some examples of where they can be found.

Celery: This includes celery stalks, leaves, seeds and the root called celeriac. You can find celery in celery salt, salads, some meat products, soups and stock cubes.

Cereals containing gluten namely Wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan wheat/Kamut), rye, barley and oats: often found in foods containing flour, such as some types of baking powder, batter, breadcrumbs, bread, cakes, couscous, meat products, pasta, pastry, sauces, soups and fried foods which are dusted with flour.

Crustaceans: Crabs, lobster, prawns and scampi are crustaceans. Shrimp paste, often used in Thai and south-east Asian curries or salads, is an ingredient to look out for.

Eggs: Eggs are often found in cakes, some meat products, mayonnaise, mousses, pasta, quiche, sauces and pastries. Watch out for foods brushed or glazed with egg such as pies.

Fish: You will find fish in some fish sauces, pizzas, relishes, salad dressings, stock cubes and Worcestershire sauce.

Lupin: Lupin flour and seeds can be used in some types of bread, pastries and even in pasta.

Milk: a common ingredient in butter, cheese, cream, milk powders, ice cream and yoghurt. It can also be found in foods brushed or glazed with milk, and in powdered soups and sauces.

Molluscs: These include mussels, land snails, squid and whelks, but can also be commonly found in oyster sauce or as an ingredient in fish stews.

Mustard: Liquid mustard, mustard powder and mustard seeds fall into this category. This ingredient can also be found in breads, curries, marinades, meat products, salad dressings, sauces and soups.

Nuts: Not to be mistaken with peanuts (which are actually a legume and grow underground), this ingredient refers to nuts which grow on trees, like cashew nuts, almonds and hazelnuts. You can find nuts in breads, biscuits, crackers, desserts, nut powders (often used in Asian curries), stir-fried dishes, ice cream, marzipan (almond paste), nut oils and sauces.

Peanuts: A legume which grows underground, peanut is also know as a groundnut. Peanuts are often used as an ingredient in biscuits, cakes, curries, desserts, sauces (such as satay sauce), as well as in groundnut oil and peanut flour.

Sesame seeds: These seeds can often be found in bread (sprinkled on hamburger buns for example), breadsticks, houmous, sesame oil and tahini. They are sometimes toasted and used in salads.

Soya: Often found in bean curd, edamame beans, miso paste, textured soya protein, soya flour or tofu, soya is a staple ingredient in oriental food. It can also be found in bread, desserts, ice cream, meat products, sauces and vegetarian products.

Sulphur dioxide (also known as sulphites): This is an ingredient often used in dried fruit such as raisins, dried apricots and prunes. You might also find it in meat products, soft drinks, vegetables as well as in wine and beer. If you have asthma, you have a higher risk of developing a reaction to sulphur dioxide.