FOOD ALLERGY POLICYLast Updated: November 29, 2020
We know it can be daunting to go out to eat when you have an allergy or intolerance – and the thought that the restaurant might get it wrong, more often than not, can stop you going!
Why do food allergens need to be managed? Because people with food sensitivities, such as allergies, intolerances, and celiac disease need to avoid them—otherwise they may come to actual harm. We take member safety very seriously and we understand how important it is to build trust, which is why we have this detailed food allergens policy that ensures the highest quality of care around your food, to make sure you have a lovely meal in a risk-free environment.
Our restaurant and bar partner have good systems in place in their kitchens and bars to ensure all the allergen-free products can be kept separate from the allergen-filled products. They also then design their menus well to make it clear to members that there may be a product that could be dangerous to them. We also require them to be compliant with applicable law and EU Food Safety Regulations and guidance, such as the Food Standards Agency’s Allergen Guidance for Food Businesses
14 Allergens for our Partners to Display
Every person is unique, we all have the potential to become allergic to many different types of protein found in food, however, there are some foods that account for the majority of allergic reactions. These are known as ‘major’ allergens.
Wherever we operate in the world, our Partners comply with local regulations for allergens. However, even when it is not required by local regulation, if there is a risk to allergic consumers due to the presence of a major allergen in a product, Our Partners will declare its presence on the menu guide and the packaging of that product. The allergens that will always be declared are highlighted in bold in the ingredients section of the packaging and menu as:
- Cereals containing gluten – wheat (such as spelt and khorasan wheat), rye, barley, oats
Note: The cereal name e.g ‘wheat’, must be declared and highlighted, not ‘gluten’
- Crustaceans e.g. crabs, prawns, lobsters
- Nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecan nuts, brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, Macadamia/Queensland nut)
Note: The name of the nut, e.g. ‘almond’, must be declared and highlighted, not ‘nuts’
- Sesame Seeds
- Sulphur Dioxide and sulphites (at concentrations of more than 10mg/kg or 10mg/L in terms of total sulphur dioxide) – used as a preservative
- Molluscs e.g. mussels, oysters, squid, snails
There are some derivatives of these allergens which are so highly processed that they are not considered an allergenic risk and so do not need to be highlighted as allergens.
These 14 allergens must be:
- indicated in the list of ingredients with clear reference to the name of the allergen
- highlighted in a way that makes it stand out from the other ingredients. This could be through, for example, font, style or background colour e.g. Ingredients: Flour (wheat), sugar, eggs, milk, salt, raising agent: sodium bicarbonate.
Our Partner’s staff are trained to respond to telephone queries about allergens from members and they ensure that all verbal allergen information is supported in writing so that any allergen information given verbally is accurate.
How Partner displays allergens – non-prepacked food
Where a food is not required to have a list of ingredients e.g. alcohol, the allergen indication must include the word ‘contains’ followed by the name of the allergen e.g. ‘contains barley’.
Food old in loose form or packed on the premises at the request of the member or packed for direct sale or supply to the final member, is considered non-prepacked food.
Non-prepacked food includes:
- foods sold in loose form e.g. foods sold in restaurants, delis, cafés, canteens, takeaways, butcher shops, retail outlets etc.
- foods packed on the premises at the request of the consumer e.g. a sandwich made and packed into a plastic triangle for the member
- foods packed on the premises for direct sale to the consumer or mass caterer e.g. lasagne made in a café kitchen and sold packaged from a fridge in the café
The type of food allergen information required on non-prepacked foods is the same as that required on prepacked foods. However, because a list of ingredients is not generally used for non-prepacked foods, the information provided must use the word ‘contains’ followed by the specific allergens, e.g. contains wheat, barley, soya and egg.
Voluntary statements such as ‘may contain…’ or ‘prepared in a kitchen/ premises that uses…’ can provide a useful warning to vulnerable members.
Our Partners will indicate allergens in writing for non-prepacked food at the point of:
- presentation/menu guides, or
- sale, or
Note – While we do our best to mitigate your exposure, neither we nor our Partners can guarantee an allergy-free environment or that no allergic reactions will occur.
We will continue to update the Havn SuperApp to give members the best possible service.
- In-app information. We prominently signpost customers with allergies to contact the restaurant to ask about ingredients and cooking methods in the ‘Restaurant Info’ section, ‘Allergens, hygiene rating and more’ at the top of the menu. For partners using Menu Manager you now have the option to add item by item allergen information. This should be a key priority. It is also possible to add a further header about allergens – please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about this. We include a general cross-contamination declaration in ‘Restaurant Notes’ but you may want to add specific declarations based on your own risk assessments. You can also add tailored information about your restaurant and menu in ‘Restaurant Info’, for example a web address to your own allergens information webpage. We encourage you to add tailored information about your restaurant and menu in Restaurant Notes.