Wheat intolerant or allergic to nuts? Restaurant menus are about to become a whole lot safer for you

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Image: Restaurant menus to list ingredients by law

Basheer Tome / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / adapted / Flickr: basheertome 

If you suffer from an allergy or intolerance, navigating your way through a restaurant menu can be something of a minefield – but not for much longer.


Restaurants and takeaways across Europe will now be required by law to tell customers if their dishes contain ingredients known to trigger allergies.


More than 17 million people across Europe are believed to suffer from food allergies according to the European Academy of Allergy. Under the new legislation, staff in bakeries, cafes and restaurants will have to inform customers if their food contains any of the following ingredients:

  • Celery
  • Cereals containing gluten
  • Crustaceans (such as crab, lobster, prawns and shrimp paste)
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Lupin (found in some types of bread, pastries and pasta)
  • Milk
  • Molluscs (such as mussels, land snails, squid and oyster sauce)
  • Mustard
  • Nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Soya
  • Sulphur dioxide (used as a preservative in dried fruit, meat products and soft drinks)

Chun-Han Chan, food allergy expert at the FSA, told Sky news: “Businesses have the flexibility to provide this information how they wish to do so. This information can be up front on a menu. If it’s not up front, it could be signposted to a special folder or to ask the customer to speak to a member of staff.”

Businesses that repeatedly fail to provide the correct information on allergies could face a maximum fine of £5,000.

Do you suffer from a food allergy? Will this new legislation make dining out a lot easier for you? Let us know in the comments below …