Our Allergy Policy

What is a food intolerance?

Food intolerance involves an adverse reaction by the body to a specific food ingredient, but it is not related to the immune system and therefore is not life-threatening. Instead, the body has difficulty digesting certain foods, usually when consumed in large amounts. Symptoms of food intolerance include bloating, stomach cramps and diarrhoea, which usually come on gradually within a few hours of eating.

What is coeliac disease?

Coeliac disease is a condition which causes the body to react when gluten is consumed. The villi in the small intestine are attacked and damaged by the body’s immune system, which means the body can’t absorb nutrients from foods. The only way to prevent symptoms of coeliac disease is to avoid altogether consuming even trace amounts of gluten.

Our Head of Operations at Sexy Buns is responsible for creating this Allergen Policy and ensuring all documentation regarding ingredients, allergens, and staff information sheets are accurate and updated. The kitchen managers are responsible for ensuring all procedures are adhered to on shift and that all staff receive training, including refresher training and spontaneous testing on safe food handling, including allergen awareness. All staff, regardless of their position, are responsible for keeping the food hypersensitive customer safe. Everyone must understand the procedures in place to protect them and follow all the guidelines carefully.

14 most common allergens:

The 14 allergens are: celery, cereals containing gluten (such as wheat, barley and oats), crustaceans (such as prawns, crabs and lobsters), eggs, fish, lupin, milk, molluscs (such as mussels and oysters), mustard, peanuts, sesame, soybeans, sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if the sulphur dioxide and sulphites are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million) and tree nuts (such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts).

Where to find our allergen information for staff?

All staff members have access to the allergy matrix, information sheets and recipes as the location of these is shared during onboarding. All staff receive training on accessing and understanding the allergen information, complete allergen training (internal and nationally recognised level) and until completely confident work alongside a team member or management when dealing with customer who may request additional information.

We have specific product sheets available created by the business owner and Head of Operations for each sandwich, explaining the ingredients creating the allergen and with suggestions for changes and swaps. All sheets are kept updated, especially when recipe ingredient changes.

Giving information to customers:

At Sexy Buns, we encourage best practice, so all team members are trained to initiate conversations with customers to determine any food hypersensitivities. We also use signposting to remind customers to tell a team member about any food hypersensitivities they have. All managers are trained in allergy awareness and are always available as an allergy expert for our menus, and all instances of food hypersensitivities should be raised with them. Any customers who require further information are welcome to speak directly with the Chef, Head of Operations or business owner (if available) and they are to be granted access to the allergen information sheets and any product specification sheets they require. All information can be provided via email too, please contact info@sexybuns.co if required. 

Kitchen procedures:

We have the following procedures in place to minimise the risk of allergenic cross-contamination in the kitchen and how we reduce risk to staff, visitors and customers.

  • All ingredients will come from reputable suppliers. Any changes in suppliers will be detailed, and full traceability records shall be kept.

  • When allergenic ingredients are kept in-house, they shall be stored separately and in sealed containers on lower shelves.

  • Thoroughly clean food preparation surfaces using the two-stage cleaning technique after using allergenic ingredients.

  • Carefully clean up any spillages of allergenic ingredients as soon as they occur. Use a single-use cloth, not a reusable one.

  • Ensure that food handling equipment, such as mixers, blenders, processors and weighing scales, is cleaned thoroughly before using it for an allergen-free product.

  • When cleaning food handling equipment, dismantle it carefully to ensure all parts are cleaned and no allergenic residue, such as powders and seeds, is left in hard-to-reach places.

  • Use designated, colour-coded cleaning equipment to clean areas where allergen-free foods are prepared.

  • Only use the same utensils for allergenic and allergen-free foods after thoroughly cleaning them in between uses.

  • Staff must wash their hands properly using the correct technique before and after handling allergenic ingredients and food products. 

  • Every single customers MUST be asked if they have any allergies or intolerances.

  • If any guests respond that they do have allergies, they must be informed immediately of the allergens policy above. It is then at their discretion if they choose to dine with us.

  • Carefully state the dish with its allergen modification when customer returns to collect their food

  • If there are any doubts at any point regarding allergens staff should immediately speak with management who will be able to step in or advise

Each individual server should familiarise themselves with some of the most common scenarios. These include:

  • All salads can be offered without gluten, removing the crispy onions

  • All sandwich buns contain gluten and soya with traces of peanuts and nuts

  • Our entire men is halal

  • The gravy is the only non-vegan sauce option

  • Every site has an up to date allergen matrix available which can be shown to customers when questions arise about allergens

Emergency situation:

If a customer is having a severe allergic reaction:

  • Ensure the casualty is comfortable, ideally lying down or sitting in a chair. If breathing is difficult, assist them in lying down, and raise their legs.

  • Call 999 for an ambulance as soon as possible and explain that the person is having a severe allergic reaction, mentioning anaphylaxis specifically.

  • Notify the qualified, on-site first-aider of what’s happened.

  • Reassure the person and do your best to keep them calm.


In order to ensure that food hypersensitive customers can choose from a range of options, a conscious effort is made to reduce the number of allergens used and to avoid unnecessary use of allergens. Careful procedures to prevent cross-contamination reduce the need for precautionary allergen labelling, providing more options for the food hypersensitive customer.

Written using guidance from food.gov.uk