Date Published: 16 January 2008
FSA action on food allergies (UK)
The Food Standards Agency has today published new guidance to help food businesses assist customers who need to avoid certain ingredients because of an allergy.
The new guidance is targeted at businesses, such as restaurants, cafes, deli counters, sandwich bars and bakeries, selling food that is not packaged. It is part of the Agency's on-going work to help these businesses to improve the information they make available to customers who have food allergies or an intolerance.
Food businesses selling food prepared or wrapped on site are not required by law to indicate whether the food contains ingredients that people may be allergic to, such as nuts, wheat or eggs.
The guidance, and an accompanying booklet and poster, are being promoted via trade organisations representing retailers, caterers and catering suppliers in the UK and through local authority enforcement officers. The booklet and poster give advice on which ingredients can cause problems and how customers' questions should be addressed. Information in the booklet and poster is presented in an easy-to-read style.
Sue Hattersley, Head of Food Allergy policy at the Food Standards Agency, said:
" Many food businesses are already good at letting their customers know if there are any ingredients in their food that may cause allergy problems. However, we want all businesses to be able to help their food allergic customers.
Those preparing and serving food need to know about food allergies and about the information customers with food allergies need. Our new guidance, along with the accompanying booklet and poster, give useful advice to businesses and should give extra confidence to their customers."
Source: Food Standards Agency (FSA), UK.