Peanuts are a common allergen

The way Cookery Schools are required to label allergens legally changed two months ago. Are you making the necessary changes? ICSA has been looking into what this means for independent cookery schools.

On 13 December 2014, new legislation (the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation 1169/2011) required food businesses to provide allergy information on food sold unpackaged. This applies to catering outlets, deli counters, bakeries and sandwich bars and also includes cookery schools.

According to the FSA a list of 14 food allergens have to be indicated by reference to the source allergen whenever they, or ingredients made from them, are used at any level in foods, including alcoholic drinks. This needs to be in written form on all course content.


   • Cereals containing gluten
   • Crustaceans
   • Molluscs
   • Eggs
   • Fish
   • Peanuts
   • Nuts
   • Soybeans
   • Milk
   • Celery
   • Mustard
   • Sesame
   • Lupin 
   • Sulphur dioxide at levels above 10mg/kg, or 10 mg/litre, expressed as SO2

ICSA is liaising with the FSA to provide some definitive guidelines as to how cookery schools can implement this legislation in practice. We will keep you updated of news. In the meantime if members have any queries please see the contact details at the end of the news item.


Allergy Banner Set


Allergy is widespread in the UK. Millions of adults suffer from at least one allergy, with numbers continuing to rise. Each year the number of allergy sufferers increases by 5%, half of all affected being children.

Below is an overview of statistics about allergy.

  • Over 150 million people have allergies in Europe, the most common chronic disease (EAACI, 2014)
  • 6–8 % of children have a proven food allergy (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2011)
  • Allergy is a chronic disease that is expected to affect more than 50% of all Europeans in 10 years’ time (EAACI, 2011)
  • Up to 1 in 5 allergic people suffer a serious debilitating disease and are in fear of death from a possible asthma attack or anaphylactic shock (EAACI, 2011)
  • An estimated 21 million adults in the UK suffer from at least one allergy (Mintel, 2010)
  • An estimated 10 million adults suffer from more than one allergy (Mintel, 2010)
  • UK hospital admissions for food allergies have increased by 500% since 1990 (Gupta, 2007)
  • The prevalence of diagnosed allergic rhinitis and eczema in children have both trebled over the last three decades (Gupta, 2007)
  • There are around 30 allergy specialists in the UK, that’s one for every 700,000 sufferers
  • 20% of the population are affected by allergic rhinitis (Allergy The Unmet Need, 2003)
  • The number of sufferers from rhinitis has tripled in the last 20 years (Allergy The Unmet Need, 2003)
  • Asthma, Rhinitis and Eczema have trebled in the last 20 years (Allergy The Unmet Need, 2003)
  • 10% of children and adults under the age of 45 have 2 or more allergies (Allergy The Unmet Need, 2003)
  • 13 million people below the mid forties have 2 or more allergies (Allergy The Unmet Need, 2003)
  • 50% of children and young people have one or more allergy within the first 18 years of life (Journal of Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2009)
  • £900million per annum spent by Primary Care is due to allergy (Enquiry Into Provision of Allergy Services, 2004)
  • £68million per annum is the cost of hospital admissions due to allergy (Enquiry Into Provision of Allergy Services, 2004)
  • The UK is one of the top three countries in the world for the highest incident of allergy (The Allergenic Invasion, 1999)


The Management Board of schools meets on 13 February and we aim to be able to find a workable methodology to meet this legislation for our members shortly. We will keep you updated but if you have any questions please contact the FSA directly or ICSA.

From Team ICSA



FSA Allergens helpline: 020 7276 8741

Contact Kate at ICSA :