Most pubs, restaurants and hotels are now fully up to speed with the requirements to label allergens in all food served on the premises.  With Christmas approaching and the trend for introducing a festive guest beer such as “Festive Totty” or “Frosted Hop” it is important to remember that the requirement to label allergens extends to non pre-packaged food and drink such as draught beers, Christmas cocktails and other drinks.

What is your obligation?

Your obligation is to be able to provide allergy information to customers before they purchase a non pre-packaged drink such as draught beer or a Christmas cocktail.

How can you do this?

You can provide the required information in any one of the following ways (or a combination these):

  • on a label ticket or sticker
  • on a printed menu
  • on a blackboard or sign
  • verbally when requested

Your obligation is to provide the information upon request so you do not have to label everything you offer for sale.  However, you must make customers aware that the information is available on request and you should have a sign to that effect at the point where drinks are ordered e.g. a printed disclaimer on your menus and at the bar.

Many beers do contain more obvious allergens such as gluten and sulphites.  However, festive beers with new and imaginative flavours may contain allergens that you are not expecting.  Make sure you check.  Breweries are required to label products containing allergens.  If the kegs have no label on them then you should check with the brewery.

Remember staff will need to be able to find allergen information quickly if a customer asks particularly at busy times over Christmas.  Be practical – if you have a Christmas guest beer then stick labels on the pump so the information is reliable and easy to find.

For more detail on allergens see our previous article HERE

The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the present time and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.