Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in the Pink Book of Legislation, we regret that we cannot be responsible for any errors. This guide is not intended to be a definitive statement of the law in England. If you require precise or detailed information on the legislation mentioned in this guide, or on the legal implications for you in particular, you should consult a professional legal adviser.
- If you provide food for guests that contains GM ingredients you need to comply with genetically modified food legislation.
- You need to provide information to customers on 14 allergens that may be used as ingredients in any food you sell.
For details on pricing food, see 'Pricing and charging'.
Food labelling and genetically modified food
To allow food providers and consumers alike to make informed decisions about the food they use or eat, there are food labelling regulations in place.
The rules covering GM foods are outlined in:
- the European Regulations (EC) No. 1829/2004, (EC) No. 1830/2004
- the GM Food (England) Regulations 2004
- the Genetically Modified Organisms (Traceability and Labelling) Regulations 2004 (and equivalent Regulations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Do the Regulations apply to me?
No: if there are no ingredients containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified organisms in the food you offer to guests, the regulations do not apply to you.
Yes: if you are providing food for guests that contains ingredients containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified organisms, whether or not there is any GM material in the final product (e.g. oil produced from GM soya or maize), you need to comply. Any intentional use of GM must be labelled, but there is a tolerance level (of 0.9%) for the accidental inclusion of EU-authorised GM material. For further information, visit the Food Standards Agency website.
As any food bought by you to prepare food for guests should be similarly labelled for GM ingredients, you should be able to tell whether or not you need to comply.
What do the Regulations require?
The words 'genetically modified' or 'produced from genetically modified [name of organism]' must be displayed on a notice, menu, ticket or label which can be easily read by customers. For example:
Products on the menu marked * contain ingredients produced from genetically modified soya.