Our officers enforce the regulations that cover food standards, i.e. food labelling and compositional requirements.
The food standards that are set
- enable consumers to know what they are eating and to make informed choices
- help to prevent misleading food labels, adulteration of food and other food scams
- sampling and
- advice to business backed by enforcement action where required.
We ensure that
- Labelling and descriptions of food accurately and fairly describe the nature, substance and quality of that food
- Declarations are made as required for ingredients, date marking, nutritional information, additives, processing and allergens
- Compositional standards and minimum legal requirements are complied with
- Materials and articles supplied for food use do not adversely affect the food
- Animal feeding-stuffs are wholesome and contain no deleterious substances and/or ingredient which would be dangerous to the animal or humans consuming the animal or its by products
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Detailed guidance on food labelling requirements are available at
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Under the Food Information Regulations businesses have a legal responsibility to provide the correct allergen information about the ingredients that are in the food they make or serve to customers, at the point of sale.
From 13th December 2014 food businesses will have to change the way they provide information to consumers with regard to allergenic ingredients that may be found within foods produced and/or served to customers. Further details for consumers and businesses are available on the website of the Food Standards Agency.
These new requirements also apply for businesses which provide loose foods, such as supermarket food counters, delicatessens, restaurants and takeaways.
The Food Standards Agency gives full details on the requirements of the Food Information Regulations (FIR), and information on the fourteen identified allergens.
Advisory booklets containing advice on how to provide allergen information to customers are available online.
“Allergen information for loose foods”, and a guide for small and medium businesses that make or sell prepacked food are available to download
Posters including those in other languages are available to download
Food Business Operators should ensure that staff are trained on how to handle requests for allergen information so that the responses are consistent and accurate.
Some examples of how best to comply with the Regulations are:
Signposting information – Directing a customer to where they can go within the food business to obtain the information they require.
Written allergen information – Information provided on menus, menu boards or on websites (when selling online).
Allergen menu folders – containing specific information such as product specification sheets, ingredients labels, recipes or charts of the dishes provided with allergen content.
Telling a customer about allergens – Provided as part of a conversation with the customer together with use of one of the above examples.
Free online allergen training is also available. If you work with food it is important to take food allergy seriously.
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Visit Vision (Virtual Interactive Shopping Information Online). It is a web based three-dimensional virtual food hall created by Gloucestershire Trading Standards which provides information on food labelling, health and nutrition to consumers in an easy to understand format, as well as highlighting the detrimental affects of consuming too many ready prepared foods and snacks which contain high levels of sugar, fat and salt.
The food hall, which contains over 90 different food items within its aisles, also has a butchery, fish counter, and delicatessen. Visitors have the option to explore the hall and read short messages about each item of food, or undertake a challenge entitled 'Are you balanced?' which aims not to create winners or losers, but get people thinking about a balanced diet.
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