Country Range Group (CRG) has launched an interactive support website to help caterers cope with upcoming legislation requiring them to be fully transparent with consumers about allergens in their dishes.
The site at www.crgsupport.co.uk comes in response to concerns about meeting the requirements of the new EU Food Regulation for Consumers Regulation (1169/2011), which comes into force on this week – on December 13, 2014.
The tool enables caterers to search by product, brand or allergen type, using drop-down lists to easily find out relevant allergen information from a range of foodservice suppliers.
Coral Rose, managing director of Country Range Group, which works on behalf of 16 independent wholesale members operating out of 25 depots in the UK and Channel Islands, said: “Whether you run a deli counter, sandwich bar, pub or restaurant, there will be an expectation for caterers to declare any of 14 identified allergenic ingredients used in non-pre packed or loose foods from December, which is causing some concern in the industry.
“With co-operation from the hundreds of brands we sell through our wholesale members, we have been able to compile this invaluable database with full search functionality to make life easier for caterers, bolstering the guidance being put out there by the government. You can also find out if a product is suitable for vegans and vegetarians at the website.”
CRG customers also have access to its K2N nutritional software for caterers, which incorporates information on allergens in recipes that allows caterers to tweak recipes and substitute product and brands accordingly. They can also print off full allergen reports for the recipes to keep front of house staff fully up to date.
“K2N is, ultimately, a flexible tool for caterers to use to enable them to easily create nutritionally balanced recipes and menus and compare them against food based standards and GDAs,” said Rose. “They can also easily see the nutritional and calorific impact of swapping ingredients, for example, butter to low fat spread as a more healthy option.”