New European Union rules require restaurants to account for 14 specific food allergens on their menus, starting later this year.
The rules are controversial, as they affect many restaurants more heavily than others due to the way they are implemented, but are touted as a safety measure that will save lives.
Restaurants most heavily affected will be smaller venues with rotating menus, special guest chefs and other features. These eateries will have the burden of labeling all of their food items, including temporary menu additions, whereas larger restaurants and chain establishments will have far less work to comply with the new rules.
Critics say that the new rules will stifle innovation in the kitchen, punish “proper cooks” who use whatever is available and seasonal, and works in favor of large corporate chains that can hire specialists to test their limited menu.
The Restaurant Association in the United Kingdom agrees with the criticisms, calling it “typical heavy-handedness” from the EU.