Skip to content
Food Allergens

What are the 14 major food allergens?

What are the 14 Major Food Allergens? Find out on

The EU legislation, EU Food Information Regulation No. 1169/2011 (FIR) and Food Information for Consumers Regulation (FIC) came into force on the 13th December 2014 impacting all Caterers, Food Retailers, Wholesalers and Foodservice companies.

Caterers and food businesses are required by law to be able to provide customers with accurate information on the EU’s 14 major food allergens if they are included in any of the food products they produce, sell or serve.

You’ll find a list of the 14 major food allergens below.


What to look for on the label and common foods containing the allergen


This includes the celery stalks, leaves, seeds and the root. Usually found in celery salt, salads, some meat products, soups and stock cubes.

What to look for on the label

Celery seed, Celery leaf, Celery salt, Celariac or Celeriac, Celery stalk

Common foods containing celery

Vegetable juice, Spice mixes, Soups, vegetable, Marmite, Curry, Bouillon, Processed meat products, Savoury snacks, Sausages, Prepared Salads

Cereals Containing Gluten

Wheat, rye, barley and oats are often found in foods containing flour, some baking powder, batter, breadcrumbs, cakes, couscous, meat products, pasta, pastry, sauces, soups and some fried food.

What to look for on the label

Wheat, Durum wheat, Semolina, Spelt, Kamut, Eincorn, Faro, Barley, Rye, Oat, Malt, Couscous

Common foods containing cereals

Bread, Baked goods, Baking mixes, Pasta, Crackers, Cereals, Condiments, Chocolates, Sauces


Crabs, lobster, prawns and scampi are crustaceans. Shrimp paste is an allergen in this category that is commonly used in Thai and South-east Asian cooking.

What to look for on the label

Amphipods, Barnacles, Crabs, Hermit Crabs, Crayfish, Isopods, Lobsters, Mantis Shrimp, Mussel Shrimp, Mysids, Sea Spiders, Shrimp, Prawns

Common foods containing crustaceans

Paella, Chinese products, Thai Curry, Prepared sauces, Soups, Asian Salad, Fried rice, Fish paste, Fish Soup


Eggs are found in cakes, some meat products, mayonnaise, mousses, pasta, quiche, sauces and pastries. Some food products are glazed with eggs during cooking.

What to look for on the label

Albumin, Apovitellin, Cholesterol free egg substitute, Dried egg solids, Dried egg, Egg, Egg white, Egg yolk, Egg wash, Eggnog, Fat substitutes, Globulin, Livetin, Lysozyme, Mayonnaise, Meringue, Meringue powder, Ovalbumin, Ovoglobulin, Ovomucin, Ovomucoid, Ovotransferrin, Ovovitelia, Ovovitellin, Powdered eggs, Silici albuminate, Simplesse, Surimi, Trailblazer, Vitellin, Whole egg

Common foods containing eggs

Meringue, Mayonnaise, Marzipan, Marshmallow, Artificial flavouring, Baked goods, Lecithin, Natural flavourings, Nougat, Pasta, Salad dressing, Tartare Sauce, Hollandaise, Cakes, Egg glazed pastry, Some ice cream, Some custard


You may find fish sauces in pizzas, relishes, salad dressings, stock cubes and Worcestershire sauce.

What to look for on the label

Anchovies, Bass, Catfish, Cod, Flounder, Grouper, Haddock, Hake, Halibut, Herring, Mahi Mahi, Perch, Pike, Pollock, Salmon, Scrod, Swordfish, Sole, Snapper, Tilapia, Trout, Tuna

Common foods containing fish

Barbecue Sauce, Soups, Pizza, Caesar salad and Caesar dressing, Worcestershire sauce, Bouillabaisse, Imitation or artificial fish or shellfish (“sea legs” or “sea sticks,” is one example), Meatloaf, Barbecue sauce, Caponata, a Sicilian eggplant relish, Num Pla, Dips, Gelatine, Relishes


Lupin is a flower, but it is also sometimes found in flour and is sometimes used in bread, pastries and pasta.

What to look for on the label

Lupine, Lupin flour, Lupin seed, Lupin bean

Common foods containing lupin

Pastry cases, Pies, Waffles, Pancakes, Crepes, Products containing crumb, Pizzas, Vegetarian meat substitute, Deep-coated vegetables such as onion rings


Milk is found in dairy products such as butter, cheese, cream, milk powders and yoghurt. Some foods are also glazed with milk during cooking. It’s also commonly found in powdered soups and sauces.

What to look for on the label

Milk — acidophilus milk, buttermilk, buttermilk blend, buttermilk solids, cultured milk, condensed milk, dried milk, dry milk solids (DMS), evaporated milk, fat‐free milk, fully cream milk powder, goat’s milk, lactose free milk, low fat milk, malted milk, milk derivative, milk powder, milk protein, milk solids, milk solid pastes, nonfat dry milk, nonfat milk, nonfat milk solids, pasteurised milk, powdered milk, sheep’s milk, skim milk, skim milk powder, sour milk, sour milk solids, sweet cream buttermilk powder, sweetened condensed milk, sweetened condensed skim milk,whole milk, 1% milk, 2% milk, Butter — artificial butter, artificial butter flavour, butter, butter extract, butter fat, butter flavoured oil, butter solids, dairy butter, natural butter, natural butter flavour, whipped butter, Casein & caseinates — ammonium caseinate, calcium caseinate, hydrolyzed casein, iron caseinate magnesium caseinate, potassium caseinate, sodium caseinate, zinc caseinate,

Cheese — cheese (all types), cheese flavor (artificial and natural), cheese food, cottage cheese, cream cheese, imitation cheese, vegetarian cheeses with casein

Cream, Whipped cream, Curds, Custard, Dairy product solids, Galactose, Ghee, Half & Half Hydrolysates — Casein hydrolysate, Milk protein hydrolysate, Protein hydrolysate, Whey hydrolysate, Whey protein hydrolysate Ice cream, Ice milk, Sherbet, Casein, Whey, Lactoalbumin, Lactulose, Lactoferrin, Lactoglobulin, Milk protein, Hydrolysate, Lactalbumin, Lactalbumin phosphate, Lactate solids, Lactyc yeast, Lactitol monohydrate, Lactoglobulin, Lactose, Lactulose, Milk fat, anhydrous milk fat, Nisin preparation, Nougat, Pudding, Quark, Recaldent, Rennet, Rennet casein, Simplesse® (fat replacer), Sour cream, Sour cream solids, Imitation sour cream, Whey — acid whey, Cured whey, Delactosed whey, Demineralised whey, Hydrolyzed whey, Powdered whey, Reduced mineral whey, Sweet dairy whey, Whey, Whey protein, Whey protein concentrate, Whey powder, Whey solids, Yogurt (regular or frozen), Yogurt powder

Common foods containing milk

Milk, Milk powder, Buttermilk, Butter, Ghee, Yoghurt, Natural flavouring, Flavouring, Caramel flavouring, High protein flour, Lactic acid starter culture, Rice cheese, Soy cheese, Cream, Ice Cream, Cheese, Custard, Margarine, Chocolate, Instant Mash


Includes mussels, land snails, squid and whelks, but can also be found in oyster sauce, which is commonly used in fish stews for example.

What to look for on the label

Oysters, Snails, Squid, Scallops, Mussels, Clams and cockles, Abalone, Mussels, Octopus, Oysters

Common foods containing molluscs

Ethnic Food, Soups, Sauces, Mussel dishes, Scallops, Calamari


This includes Mustard in the form of powder, liquid and seeds. This ingredient is used in breads, curries, marinades, meat products, salad dressings, sauces and soups.

What to look for on the label

Mustard powder, Mustard seeds, Mustard flour, Mustard leaves, Mustard oil, Sprouted mustard seeds

Common foods containing mustard

Sausages and processed meat products, Chutneys, Soups, Sauces, Chutney, Piccalilli, Salad dressing, Indian foods, Salad Dressings (vinaigrettes and cruditées), Spices, flavouring or seasoning, Barbecue Sauce, Curry Sauce, Cumberland Sauce, Ketchup, tomato sauce, Béarnaise Sauce, Mayonnaises, Pesto, Gravies, Marinades, Chutneys pickles and other pickled products, Vegetables with vinegar, Dehydrated soups

Nuts (Tree nuts)

Nuts (excluding Peanuts) refers to nuts that are grown on trees; unlike peanuts, which are grown underground. This includes cashew nuts, almonds and hazelnuts.

What to look for on the label

Almond, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, Cashews, Pecan Nuts, Brazil Nuts, Pistachio Nuts, Macadamia or Queensland Nuts.

Detailed List: –

Almond, Almond paste, Anacardium nuts, Anacardium occidentale (Anacardiaceae) [botanical name, Cashew], Bertholletia excelsa (Lecythidaceae) [botanical name, Brazil nut], Carya illinoensis (Juglandaceae) [botanical name, Pecan], Cashew, Castanea pumila (Fagaceae) [botanical name, Chinquapin], Hazelnut, Juglans spp. (Juglandaceae) [botanical name, Walnut, Butternut, Heartnut] Karite (shea nut), Lichee nut, Litchi chinensis Sonn. Sapindaceae [botanical name, Lichee nut] Lychee nut, Macadamia nut, Macadamia spp. (Proteaceae) [botanical name, Macadamia nut/Bush nut], Mandelonas, Marzipan, Mashuga nuts, Nangai nuts, Natural nut extract (for example, almond extract), Nougat, Nu-Nuts®, Nut butters (e.g., Almond butter, Hazelnut butter, Brazil nut butter, Macadamia nut butter, Pistachio nut butter, Shea nut butter, Karike butter, as well as other nut butters), Nut meal, Nutella ®, Nutmeat, Nut oil (e.g., Walnut oil as well as other nut oils), Nut paste, Nut pieces, Pecan, Pigñolia, Pili nut, Pine nut, Pine nut (Indian, piñon, pinyon, pigndi, pigñolia, pignon nuts), Pinon nut, Piñon or Piñon nut, Pinus spp. (Pineaceae) [botanical name, Pine nut/piñon nut], Pistachio, Pistacia vera L. (Anacardiaceae) [botanical name, Pistachio], Pralines, Prunus dulcis (Rosaceae) [bontanical name, almond] Shea nut, Sheanut, Vitellaria paradoxa C.F. Gaertn. (Sapotaceae) [botanical name, Shea nut] Walnut (English, Persian, Black, Japanese, California)

Common foods containing nuts

Chocolate spread, Nut butter, Chocolates, Artificial flavouring, Baked goods, Mortadella, Natural flavouring, Nougat, Pesto, Salad dressings, BBQ sauce, Pesto, Crackers, Desserts


Peanuts are often used as an ingredient in biscuits, cakes, curries, desserts, sauces, groundnut oil and peanut flour.

What to look for on the label

Ground Nuts, Beer nuts, Monkey nuts, Nut meat, Arachis oil, Kernels, Peanut protein, Arachic oil, Arachis, Arachis hypogaea, Artificial nuts, Beer nuts, Boiled peanuts, Cold pressed, Extruded or expelled peanut oil, Crushed nuts, Crushed peanuts, Earth nuts, Goober peas, Ground nuts, Ground peanuts, Hydrolyzed peanut protein, Mandelonas, Mixed nuts, Nut pieces, Nutmeat, Peanut butter, Peanut butter chips, Peanut butter morsels, Peanut flour, Peanut paste, Peanut sauce, Peanut syrup, Virginia peanuts

Common foods containing peanuts

Artificial flavouring, Baked goods, Candy, Chili, Chocolate, Crumb toppings, Egg rolls, Enchilada sauce, Ethnic foods: African, Asian, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, Fried foods, Flavouring, Graham cracker crust, Hydrolyzed plant protein, Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, Marzipan, Mole sauce, Natural flavouring, Nougat


These are found commonly in bread, usually sprinkled on buns such as hamburger buns, bread sticks, houmous, sesame oil and tahini.

What to look for on the label

Sesame seeds, Sesame oil, Benne, Benne seed, Gingelly, Gingelly oil

Common foods containing sesame

Bread, Soups, Crackers, Tahini butter, Dressings, Marinades, Toasts, Dips, Hummus, Sauces, Chutney


Found sometimes in bean curd, edamame beans, miso pates, textured soya protein, soya flour or tofu, soya is a staple ingredient in oriental food. It can be found in desserts, ice cream, meat products, sauces and vegetarian products.

What to look for on the label

Soy flour, Soya Milk, Soya nuts, Bean curd, Edamame (soybeans in pods), Hydrolyzed soy protein, Kinnoko flour, Kyodofu (freeze dried tofu), Miso, Natto, Okara (soy pulp), Shoyu sauce, Soy albumin, Soy concentrate, Soy fiber, Soy formula, Soy grits, Soy milk, Soy miso, Soy nuts, Soy nut butter, Soy protein, Soy protein concentrate, Soy protein isolate, Soy sauce, Soy sprouts, Soya, Soya flour, Soybeans, Soybean granules, Soybean curd, Soybean flour, Soy lecithin, Soybean paste, Supro, Tamari, Tempeh, Teriyaki sauce, Textured soy flour (TSF), Textured soy protein (TSP), Textured vegetable protein (TVP), Tofu, Yakidofu, Yuba (bean curd), Soy oil, Soybean, Textured vegetable protein, Edemame, Bean curd, Vegetable starch, Vegetable gum

Common foods containing soya

Soy milk, Soy oil, Bean sprouts, Canned tuna, Surimi, Artificial flavouring, Asian foods (e.g. Japanese, Chinese, Thai, etc.), Baked goods, Hydrolyzed plant protein, Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), Soy sauce, Tamari sauce, Teryaki sauce, Miso, Natural flavouring, Vegetable broth, Vegetable gum, Vegetable starch

Sulphur Dioxide (Sulphites)

This is an ingredient often used in dried fruits and in some meat products, soft drinks, vegetables, wine and beer. Asthmatics have a higher risk of developing an allergy to sulphites.

What to look for on the label

Sulphur, Sulphur Dioxide, Sulphite, Sulphites, Potassium bisulphite, Metabisulphite, Sodium bisulphite, Dithionite, Metabisulphite, Sulphiting agents, Sulphurous acid, E220 Sulphur dioxide, E221 Sodium sulphite, E222 Sodium hydrogen sulphite, E223 Sodium metabisulphite, E224 Potassium metabisulphite, E226 Calcium sulphite, E227 Calcium hydrogen sulphite, E228 Potassium hydrogen sulphite, E150b Caustic sulphite caramel, E150d Sulphite ammonia caramel

Common foods containing sulphur dioxide

Pickled foods and vinegar, Dried fruit eg dried apricots, prunes, raisins etc, Maraschino cherries, Tinned coconut milk, Beer, wine and cider, Vegetable juices, Some soft drinks, Grape juice, Bottled lemon juice and lime juice, Condiments (bottled sauces etc.), Guacamole, Dehydrated, pre-cut or peeled potatoes, Fresh or frozen prawns, Some processed meat products

Even more allergen support

Our guide to the 14 Major Food Allergens

Don't forget to download our handy free guide to the EU's 14 Major Food Allergens for even more information, including 'What to look for on the label' plus 'Common foods containing'.

Download Free Guide to the EU's 14 Major Food Allergens
Cover photo for the Erudus Allergens Guide