Interim acrylamide management guidance now available

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

Acrylamide guidance released
Interim guidance is now available to help catering businesses identify and implement measures to reduce acrylamide levels in food following new legislation which comes into force today, 11 April.

Published by trade body UKHospitality with input from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS), the document provides operators with best practice guidance on how to mitigate acrylamide in their food businesses.

The new regulation requires food businesses to identify potential sources of acrylamide and demonstrate that they have taken appropriate action to reduce the levels of acrylamide according to the principle of ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable).

Acrylamide is a chemical that is created when many foods – particularly starchy foods such as potatoes and bread – are cooked at high temperatures, such as when baking, frying, grilling, toasting or roasting. The tentative scientific consensus is that acrylamide has the potential to be carcinogenic.

Last year, BigHospitality revealed that foods that are traditionally cooked with some charring - including Neapolitan-style pizza - would not become endangered.

“Over the last 18 months UKHospitality has been working with the FSA, FSS and other stakeholders to produce practical guidance for caterers on the Acrylamide regulations which have been implemented today,” says UKHospitality food safety expert Dr Lisa Ackerley. “Unfortunately, the EU guidance is not yet finalised, meaning some critical areas of clarification are still required as to scope and interpretation.”

“It is regrettable that despite our considerable efforts we have been unable to produce a final document for the hospitality sector in time for the implementation of the regulations. UKHospitality is committed to guaranteeing that not only we but also our members have full confidence in the integrity of the guidance. Until there is total clarity about which businesses fall under the more onerous part of the regulations, and what foods fall into scope, we unfortunately are not able to provide the industry with the much-needed guidance they require to be confident they are complying with the new regulations.”

“UKHospitality trusts that enforcement officers, who themselves will be relying on our guidance, will be mindful of this when considering taking any enforcement action until we all know where we stand when the EU publishes its guidance.”

Key advice from the report includes cooking to a golden yellow colour "where appropriate"; not over-cooking starchy foods; following manufacturers’ instructions; and ensuring that the appropriate potatoes are used for house-made chips. The report also recommends that businesses of all sizes regularly check how the colour of cooked starchy foods and document their findings for possible checks by EHO inspectors.

To download the interim guidance, click here.

Related topics: Legislation

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