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Food Allergy Awareness Training

  • Meet the UK training requirements for food handlers
  • Interactive and engaging with colourful animation
  • Online, self-paced and in your own time
  • Instant certificate on completion

£15 +VAT

  • Instant access
  • 1-2 hours to complete
  • Online access
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Course Overview

New UK Food Allergy legislation introduced in December 2014 places legal obligations on food businesses to provide food allergy information to consumers, this includes packaged foods and also those sold loose, as in restaurants, hotels, takeaways, sandwiches and other catering establishments.

Our online Food Allergy Awareness Training course is the best way to understand and comply with your legal obligations under the new Food Allergy legislation.

The legislation identifies 14 particular food allergens which must, by law, be identified and also understood, as well as understanding why foods which contain allergens must be handled carefully.

Through clear, useful and practical information and guidance our allergen course will help you to identify and understand the main food allergens, understand the importance of handling allergen containing food carefully in order to keep customers safe, and;

Recognise the importance of accurately labelling food – so that packaging and menus are labelled correctly in regards to the allergens they contain, as defined by the EU Food Information to Consumers Regulations 2011 (now enforceable by law).

On completion of this module, learners will be able to:

  • State the importance of controlling food allergens in regard to consumer safety
  • Describe the symptoms of an allergic reaction to food or an ingredient and the potential consequences
  • Explain the requirements of the food information labelling regulations and the responsibilities of food handlers and food businesses
  • State the 14 allergens required to be considered food law
  • Read labels of bought in packaged food to find out what allergens are in the food and interpret the allergy advice
  • Explain for loose or unpackaged foods what information needs to be kept to be able to provide consumers with accurate information
  • Explain the need for effective communication between consumers and staff working in a food business
  • Describe how cross contamination could occur from an allergenic food to a non-allergenic food
  • Explain how to prevent cross contamination in a food environment
Course details

Areas covered include:

  1. Introduction
    • Aim
    • Learning outcomes
    • Acknowledgements
    • Copyright and disclaimer
  2. What is a food allergy
    • What is a food allergy
    • Sensitivity
    • Symptoms of an allergic reaction
  3. Legislation
    • 14 allergens
    • What the allergens are and examples of foods and ingredients where they can be found
    • Labelling on pre packed food.
  4. Practical process
    • Practical things to consider to keep your consumers safe
    • Providing allergen information
    • Allergen information specific to the food business
    • Telling a customer about allergens
    • Food preparation
    • Avoiding cross contamination of a non-allergenic food with an allergenic one
    • The practical process in the factory
    • Suppliers
    • Storage
    • Preparation and processing
    • leaning
    • Packaging and labels
  5. Conclusion
Target Audience

This course is suitable for anyone who prepares, handles or serves food, and anyone working in a role that involves contact with food, or the management of such people.


On completion of this course you will be able to print a Virtual College certificate.

CPD Accreditation

The content of this course has been independently certified as conforming to universally accepted Continuous Professional Development (CPD) guidelines.

Entry Requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this course.


Approximately 1-2 hours. The length of time taken depends entirely on how quickly you can study and absorb the material. You can proceed as quickly or slowly as you like, and there is no limit on how long you can take to do the course.

Food Allergens Background

Food Information Regulation No. 1169/2011 (FIR) / Food Information for Consumers Regulation (FIC)

(EU) No 1169/2011 is a new directive from the European Union that came into force on the 13th December 2014. The legislation, EU Food Information Regulation No. 1169/2011 (FIR), is also referred to as Food Information for Consumers Regulation (FIC).

The legislation has significantly changed the way food businesses including manufacturers, retailers and caterers need to display food and beverage information in the EU, and represents a drive towards greater standardisation and clarity in food labelling.

In the UK, the Food Standards Agency (FSA), in conjunction with DEFRA, have been tasked with introducing the new allergen labelling laws, as well as being responsible for enforcing non-compliance through local council Environmental Health Officers.

The regulations will affect all caterers and foodservice organisations, no matter how big or small, and will require food businesses to provide allergy information on food sold unpackaged, as well as changes to existing legislation on labelling allergenic ingredients in pre-packed foods.

So if you own, manage or work in a food related business (see below list for examples), you will be affected and need to ensure your operation is compliant with EU Food Information Regulation No. 1169/2011 (FIR) / Food Information for Consumers Regulation (FIC).

Types of food business affected,

  • Bistros
  • Brasseries
  • Cafes
  • Care Home Catering
  • Coffee Shops
  • College Catering
  • Conference Facilities serving food
  • Fast Food Outlets
  • Gastro Pubs
  • Hospital Catering
  • Leisure Attractions e.g. Theme Parks
  • Outdoor Event Catering
  • Motorway Services
  • Pubs
  • Restaurants
  • Retail Outlets with Cafes
  • School Catering
  • University Catering
  • Wine Bars

As well as other businesses that sell food items

Food Allergies

Food allergy is a reaction by the body to food stimulus when the body tries to repel a specific food by making an antibody (lgE) to fight it. When the food is eaten or comes into contact with the skin, the body reacts by releasing histamine and other substances, resulting in an allergic reaction with varying symptoms.

Food intolerance (non-allergic hypersensitivity) is much more common than an allergic reaction. Symptoms are typically slower to show and may be delayed by many hours after eating the offending food. Intolerance to several foods or a group of foods is not uncommon, making it more difficult to identify the food responsible.

The symptoms caused by intolerance are much more variable and can include fatigue, bloating, irritable bowel, joint pains, rashes, nettle rash, eczema, migraine and various other symptoms.

Key facts

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.

Key facts include

  • An estimated 21 million adults in the UK suffer from at least one allergy (Mintel, 2010)
  • 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)
  • 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)

How it Works

This is a general guide to how the system works.


This is an online course, all the training will be taken through your browser window. There will be no face-to-face sessions with instructors nor will you receive any training material through the post. If you wish you may print out any page of the training material and may also print the notes you took during the training.

You can also revisit the training material at any time, even after you have completed the course.


The material for this course has been broken down into several smaller lessons, each lesson dealing with a specific area of the overall subject.

The lesson consists of a series of pages in which an instructor will talk you through the lesson material at a pace that suits you. Pages may also include supporting pictures, graphs, animation or extra sounds to help with the learning where appropriate. Some lessons will include challenges/quizzes to help you keep in touch and interested in the material.

Lessons can be taken in any order and each lesson may be PAUSED and RESUMED at any stage. When all lessons in the course have been completed our system will realise and automatically record that you have successfully completed the course.


The course is self-paced so you decide how fast or slow the training goes. You can complete the course in stages revisiting the training at any time.

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