Allergens in catering & foodservice - Avec Plaisir, your gourmet allergen free expert (gluten free, lactose free...)

Gluten, lactose, ...  We heard their names everywhere but without knowing much! Yet European laws now requires restaurants, shops, caterers… to report the presence of allergens to consumers. It is therefore imperative to understand what allergens are and why they must be clearly indicated.

More and more people have allergies

At present, it is estimated that in France, 3 to 4% of the population, or more than 2.2 million people are affected by food allergies. This represents the population of Paris intramural!

The increase in the number of food allergies and their consequences on health have brought public authorities to establish information measures toward consumers. The WHO (World Health Organization) classifies allergies as the fourth public health hazard after cancer, cardiovascular disease and AIDS.


What is an allergen?

An allergen is a substance that triggers or promotes an allergy, intolerance or reaction of the body's immune system as a result of contact, inhalation or ingestion. A consumer suffering from a food allergy must avoid the consumption of food containing the substance that may cause him more or less serious disorders for his health.

What are the symptoms of a food allergy?

Allergies are never to be taken lightly! Symptoms may range from mild gastrointestinal or skin manifestations to much more serious manifestations, such as anaphylactic shock and angioedema, which can be fatal.

The main reactions are generally of order:

• Cutaneous: rash (pimple, eczema), redness, swelling of the lips / face / limbs

• Respiratory: difficulty breathing

• Digestive: abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting

• Cardiovascular: pallor, weak pulse, unconsciousness

Food allergies, food intolerances, what symptoms - Avec Plaisir, your gourmet allergenfree expert (glutren free, lactose free...)

The amount of allergen in the food that will trigger an allergic reaction is extremely variable from person to person. But know that in some cases, a simple trace (a simple crumb!) Can be enough to trigger a fatal allergic reaction.

Allergies do not manifest themselves immediately, that's why you have to be vigilant. The time of onset of symptoms can be variable, from a few seconds or minutes most often, to 2 or 3 hours or even several days after the meal.


With the proliferation of polemics around diet and the effect of fashion "no diets" (without gluten, lactose, egg, ...), the terms allergy, intolerance, disease and sensitivity are increasingly used but not necessarily wisely! To take stock, consult our article "Allergy, intolerance or food hypersensitivity, what differences?".


Consumer Information

In view of the risks represented by food allergies, the INCO Regulation No. 1169 of 2011 now requires that all products containing one of the reportable allergens be labeled.


To help you see more clearly, here is the table of the French DGCCRF (Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control) mentioning mandatory allergens.


Allergens List
Wheat and cereals containing gluten (wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelled, kamut or their hybridized strains) and products made from these cereals
  • Wheat glucose syrups, including dextrose 
  • Wheat-based maltodextrins
  • Glucose syrups made from barley
  • Cereals used for the manufacture of distillates or ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin for spirit drinks and other alcoholic beverages.
Crustaceans and crustacean products

Eggs and egg products


Fish and fish products
  • Fish gelatin used as a carrier for vitamin or carotenoid preparations or isinglass and used as a clarifying agent in beer and wine
Peanuts and peanut products
Soybeans and soy products
  • Fully refined soybean oil and fat
  •  Natural mixed tocopherols
  •  Phytosterols and phytosterol esters derived from vegetable oils of soya
  •  Plant stanol ester produced from sterols derived from soybean vegetable oils
Milk and milk products (including lactose)
  • Whey used in the manufacture of distillates or ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin for spirit drinks and other alcoholic beverages
  • Lactitol
Nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, macadamia, Brazil, Queensland, pistachios) and derived from these fruits
  • Nuts used for the manufacture of distillate or ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin for spirit drinks and other alcoholic beverages
Celery and celery products
Mustard and mustard products 
Sesame seed and sesame seed products 
Sulfur dioxide and sulphites in concentrations of more than 10 mg / kg or 10 mg / l (expressed as SO2) 
Lupine and lupine products
Molluscs and shellfish products



To be accompanied in the creation of your allergen medium, check that you comply with the regulations or train your staff on allergens, do not hesitate to make an appointment with our team.