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Food Allergies on the Rise: How to Safeguard Your Customers

12th October 2016

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Today, BBC News reported new data from NHS Digital which reveals that hospital admissions for allergic reactions have increased by 33% in the past five years.* The increase in cases requiring emergency medical treatment includes severe allergic reactions to food – the most extreme reaction being anaphylactic shock.

While there has been no definitive answer as to why the proportion of people, especially children, with a food allergy is rapidly increasing, food providers must be able to respond appropriately to the health risk posed by the different kinds of food they serve. Tiny traces of food allergens can cause potentially fatal physical reactions. So, what essential measures must your business take to protect your customers and ensure compliance with current legislation?

Under the EU Food Information for Consumers (EU FIC) Regulation No.1169/2011, businesses that serve or sell food must provide accurate and easily visible information on all products containing any of the 14 major allergens as an ingredient or processing aid. In addition, the EU FIC made the provision of written and/or oral information for non-prepacked food mandatory.* It is the duty of both the employer and the employees to communicate accurate information to the consumer; a failure to do so may lead to criminal prosecution.

Ajuda, based in Cardiff Bay, runs the Level 3 Award in Food Allergens training course so that those working in the food industry can gain a comprehensive knowledge of food allergens that can be immediately applied to workplace practice. The course, which is next running on the 20th October, provides a thorough explanation of legislation, the common allergenic ingredients in food, and how to correctly provide allergen information. For more details, please visit http://ajuda.org.uk/training-course/level-3-award-in-food-allergens-for-competent-persons-qcf/, or call us on 029 2057 6883.

 

* http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-37482798

* https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/food-allergen-labelling-technical-guidance.pdf