14 Major Allergens Hub

14 Major Allergens

14 food types are recognised as responsible for the majority of allergen cases and have been identified by EU law as the 14 major food allergens. In the US, there are eight major food allergens, soon to be nine with the recent recognition of Sesame as an allergen.

Importance of Allergen Safety

Allergies are a common health issue for many of the population, with an estimated 11-26 million people in Europe alone being affected. The prevalence of food allergies has been increasing since the early 90s, so it’s important for food businesses to understand the dangers, causes and symptoms to keep themselves and their customers safe. 

The LiberEat Allergen Awareness Hub is a central resource with various information about the 14 main allergens.

Simply click on the buttons or icons of the allergens to be shown a detailed article with lots of tips and helpful information on what foods to avoid and symptoms to be aware of, along with advice for food businesses. We have also created a short video detailing the major allergens and common foods containing them.


The 14 Major Allergens are:

Cereals Containing Gluten found in wheat, barley, and oats.

Sesame usually found in items like bread, soups, sesame oil and pastes such as tahini & humus.

Tree Nuts –  such as almonds and hazelnuts which are often found in chocolates, muesli and baked goods.

Crustaceans such as lobster, langoustines and prawns , found in curries, sauces and paella.

Fish which can be found in curries, pizza and caesar salad.

Mustardmustard is often used in various spice combinations, in curries,, salad dressings and processed meats – such as burgers and sausages.

Milk found in dairy products such as butter, cheese and yoghurt. 

Celerycommonly used in curries, soups and salads.

Peanuts – which is often used as artificial flavouring, and is contained in many cakes and biscuits .

Soyafound in soy milk, tofu, bean sprouts and is a main ingredient in canned tuna.

Molluscssuch as octopus, land snails and mussels, which are common ingredients in oyster sauce and fish stews.

Lupinwhich can be found in flour and used for bread, pastries and pasta.

Sulphur Dioxide, also known as sulphites often found in dried fruit, pickled food and alcohol such as beer, wine and cider.

Eggsfound in cakes, sauces, and pasta.

With conflicting information available online, it can be difficult to know how to stay safe when living with food allergies. We’ve created a short video to clarify some of the most common misconceptions regarding food allergen safety.

Important Allergen Resources for Food Businesses

As it’s a legal requirement to display the 14 main allergens to customers in the EU and UK, there are a variety of tools, organisations, and legislation LiberEat has covered in articles that can help you keep your business up to the required standard.

Food Standards Agency

The Food Standards Agency is a government department focused on food safety for the UK, working with authorities to make sure new guidelines are enforced, while reviewing current laws and giving recommendations to the government on how to improve food standards. Since its formation in 2000, it has helped produce some major legislation that has shaped current food safety standards such as Regulation (EC) No 852/2004, which has made HACCP plans a legal requirement for food businesses. 


An HACCP plan, which stands for ‘Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point’, is a seven-step plan for monitoring potential physical, chemical, and biological food safety hazards. Critical control points are identified, which are ways of controlling and preventing hazards after identifying them. An example of a CCP would be making sure food reaches a set minimum internal temperature with a thermometer to make sure potential bacteria are destroyed.

Major Legislation

In recent years, an example of major legislation the FSA has helped enforce would be The Food Information (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2019, and its equivalent regulation for other parts of the UK.

This legislation is also known as Natasha’s Law, named after Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who suffered from a fatal anaphylactic attack on a plane after buying a baguette containing sesame, an undeclared allergen. Natasha’s law requires food businesses to provide allergen information to consumers if selling PPDS foods, which is food that’s packaged in the same place it’s sold and is packaged before purchase.


LiberEat works closely with food businesses within contract caterers, food producers, restaurant chains, and supermarkets to help them detect and alert their food safety professionals to allergens and allergen errors. You can learn more about our allergen detection software here.

Try Our 14 Major Allergen Quiz

Being aware of the 14 main allergens will allow you to communicate your ingredients more effectively and comply with labelling legislation.

How confident are you? Try our quiz below and test your knowledge.

Just by adopting LiberEat Technology, food businesses can

  • Become trailblazers in allergen detection

  • Protect their consumers

  • Enhance their peace of mind 


Make food safe for everyone with LiberEat’s safety software.

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