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The 14 Major Food Allergens

The 14 Major Food Allergens

4 minute read time

food allergies and food intolerances across the world

Since December 2014, EU legislation classified 14 major food allergens which fall under the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI). It is a legal requirement that food businesses must provide allergen information in any food they sell or provide, making it easier for people with food allergies and even those with food intolerances to identify the ingredients and trigger foods they need to avoid.

What are the 14 listed allergens?

There are 14 major allergens that should be legally mentioned when they are used as ingredient – both packaged and loose. These are:

What is Natasha’s Law?

Natashas story

‘Natasha’s Law’ provides all food businesses to include full ingredients labelling on pre-packaged food by summer 2021. Before the law came into place, non-packaged foods are not required to display allergen information on the packaging. The new legislation, approved by environmental secretary Michael Gove, will seek to tighten existing labelling laws in the UK.

Will Brexit affect allergen regulations?

Although the allergen classification list is an EU regulation, it continues to be used in the UK post-Brexit. However, for any food labelling changes, you can find out more information here.

Allergens across the globe

The amount of food allergens declared on pre-packaged food is not universally standardised. The UK and Europe classify 14 major food allergens. America, for example, only classifies 9. The Food Allergens Labeling and Consumer Protection Acts (FALCPA), introduced in 2006, applies to:

This means that molluscs (shellfish such as oysters, clams, and mussels), sesame, mustard and celery, are not required to be labelled under FALCPA.

More confusingly, Australia and New Zealand identify 10 food allergens, Japan identify 7 core allergens and Canada identify 11 which must be identified in English and French.

Are you travelling abroad with a food allergy or food intolerance?

Prepare yourself by checking the food labelling laws before you fly to see if they classify your trigger food as a major allergen. Find out where are best and worst places are to travel with a food intolerance here.

Are you struggling to identify your food allergy or food intolerance?

If you experience any serious or life-threatening reactions, it’s always important to seek advice from your GP or medical practitioner.

Food intolerances, although not life-threatening like severe allergies, can be difficult to pinpoint as they can take up to several days to show symptoms.

Our Food and Environmental Allergy Test analyses your IgE reactions to a range of food and environmental allergens.

Suspect you have a food intolerance instead? Our Premium Food Intolerance Test analyses your IgG reactions to 200 food and drink ingredients.


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