Bakeries that fail to warn customers about possible allergens in their food could face an unlimited fine, under new EU rules.

From 13 December any business serving food must provide allergen information either in writing or verbally. Guidance produced by the Food Standards Agency advises that information should be “easily accessible, in a conspicuous place, easily visible and clearly legible”.

Information to be included must cover all 14 chosen allergens, which include gluten, milk, eggs, nuts and sesame.

Businesses are free to decide to provide the information orally on request, but are advised that if staff are responsible for giving information it must also be clearly signposted, verifiable and consistent. The guidance suggests nominating a member of staff to handle allergen enquiries.

Businesses are advised to use the same recipes, keep a copy of ingredient information on labels of pre-packed foods, keep ingredients in original containers and file a copy of the labelling information. They are also urged to check deliveries and make sure all products are their usual brand.