An Introduction to Allergens and the Law

3.50 Hour/s

CPD Hours: 3


This half day online course will be led by one of RSSL’s food safety consultants, and will introduce delegates to allergens, what they are and why we need to tell consumers about them.

We will consider the types of food hypersensitivities people can have, including allergies, intolerances, and coeliac disease, and explore what the differences between these are. We will look in depth at what information must be provided legally to consumers and how this must be done in different situations, including for prepacked foods and foods sold loose, as well as looking at Natasha’s Law and what this means for businesses. We will consider how important communication with the consumer is and look at some examples of the consequences when things go wrong.

There will be knowledge checks and interactive exercises throughout the session to help cement the learnings for the delegates.

This course is ideally suited to those who are relatively new to the food industry, or those needing a refresher on allergens and what the legal requirements for the provision of information are. We explore different eating scenarios so the content is relevant to those working in food service as well as manufacturing.
The course includes the following topics :

  • Food hypersensitivity:
    • Distinguishing between allergies, intolerances and Coeliac disease
    • Symptoms of allergies
    • Quiz
  • The legal requirements:
    • What information must be provided and how – prepacked and loose foods
    • Natasha’s Law
  • Communicating risks:
    • Warning consumers about contamination risks
    • Unhelpful warnings and risks of over-labelling
  • Guidance:
    • Other available sources of guidance and information
  • Interactive exercise:
    • Group work to decide how to provide information and to spot menu mistakes

    By the end of this course you will:

    • Understand what allergens are and the symptoms of an allergic reaction
    • Know the differences between allergies, intolerances and Coeliac disease
    • Have knowledge of the legal requirements for providing allergen information
    • Know how to communicate with a consumer with an allergy and what your obligations are
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Special offer

Helping your training budget go further

We offer a number of discounts and specials offers on our training courses including Group booking, NHS and Seasonal discounts.

Meet the tutors

Barbara Hirst

Barbara Hirst is widely recognised as an expert in the field of allergen management. Her extensive analytical background coupled with more than 20 years of experience working with food manufacturers and retailers allows her to provide support to food businesses in all aspects of allergen management, from risk assessment to implementation of the controls required to manage those risks.

Jessica Sage

Jessica Sage started her career in the laboratory where she gained extensive experience in advising on appropriate testing methods for allergens. She now has more than 15 years’ experience of working with food businesses, and a solid understanding of different manufacturing environments which she uses to advise businesses on how to manage allergens effectively.

Leyla Collins

Leyla Collins has 10 years’ experience of supporting food businesses and is well versed in advising on allergen risk analysis and effective allergen management. Leyla is skilled in recommending the best testing approaches and advising on how to collect the evidence required to demonstrate that allergens are being managed effectively.

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