May Contain – Precautionary Allergen labelling

May Contain – Precautionary Allergen Labelling

There is currently no standardisation of ‘May Contain’ precautionary allergen labelling which is confusing to many in the hypersensitive community.

Blanket statements are made that indicate that a product can contain ANY allergen.

This post links to the PAL (precautionary allergen labelling) consultation where anyone can input their opinions and which hopefully will result in clarity with regard to labelling of products that might contain an allergen.  (By the way this should be determined by Risk Assessment).


To enable you to use PAL correctly use this checklist

Do you do the following?

  • Train staff in ‘May contain’ and what it actually means
  • Ensure all staff dealing with food for an allergic customer know about them and that the food should be treated carefully
  • Provide food in separate boxes for takeaway or if a home caterer or deli for delivery or collection.
  • Do use May Contain after carrying out a risk assessment (check your supplier information too).

Be aware that legislation may come in requiring specific labelling format for May Contain or other areas following the end of the consultation.


Thank you for reading

Karen Meadows of Safety in Action Ltd



If you think I can help your business do call me on 07786622741 or email me on

You can also find me on twitter @safety_inaction or

Food Safety Consultant | Worcestershire | West Midlands | Hospitality