Colours in food
The food additives Regulations allow only certain colours to be used in food, restrict the use of some colours, and set maximum levels for some colours, particularly in relation to food sold in restaurants and as take-away meals. The Regulations apply to all foods but make specific requirements for certain foods - such as meat, fish, and shellfish - that may not be directly coloured.
Traders should obtain written confirmation from their supplier that a product complies with the provisions of the Food Safety Act 1990 and the food additives Regulations. The Regulations list some specific colours which are restricted in sauces, pickles, seasoning, etc.
The use of these colours in food is controlled because excessive consumption has been linked to allergic reactions and sickness.
In the guide
To which foods do the Regulations apply?
Why are these controlled?
How can I avoid selling food with excess or non-permitted colours?
What can happen if I sell a food containing excess or non-permitted colours?
What about other additives?
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