Food Businesses across Europe are required by law to tell customers if their food contains ingredients known to trigger allergies.
Staff must provide information on 14 everyday allergens including nuts, milk, celery, gluten, soya and wheat.
The new measures cover meals served in all food outlets including bakeries, cafes, care homes and packaged produce sold by supermarkets.
Businesses that don't comply could be faced with fines or more seriously, as happened in May 06 when the terrible death of Paul Wilson, 38, who suffered a severe anaphylactic shock in January 2014 after eating a takeaway containing peanuts from the Indian Garden in Easingwold, North Yorkshire. In May 2016 a business man and restaurant owner in the same area, was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence and six food safety offences. Two families ruined through cutting corners and the lack of simple training.
Some five thousand people need treatment in hospital for severe allergic reactions each year in the UK, and some cases are even fatal.
Experts say the majority of these deaths and visits to hospital are avoidable, and some are a result of people being given incorrect information about ingredients.
Under the new legislation customers must be told if their food contains any of the following:
- celery - including any found in stock cubes and soup
- cereals containing gluten - including spelt, wheat, rye, barley
- crustaceans - eg crabs, lobster, prawns and shrimp paste
- eggs - including food glazed with egg
- lupin - can be found in some types of bread, pastries, pasta
- molluscs - mussels, land snails, squid, also found in oyster sauce
- nuts - for example almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, macadamia
- peanuts - also found in groundnut oil
- sesame seeds - found in some bread, houmous, tahini
- soya - found in beancurd, edamame beans, tofu
- sulphur dioxide - used as a preservative in dried fruit, meat products, soft drinks, vegetables, alcohol.
Business can provide information through leaflets or through conversations, on menu's, signs or verbally through their staff.
But which ever way it is given, staff should be very aware of the ingredients in the items on the menu.
Pre-packaged food bought in supermarkets must also have clear allergen information on the labels.
The Hospitality Academy has a fantastic studio voiced interactive e-learning course available for businesses to train their staff with. The course is CPD certificated and you can get your staff on the course without charge by emailing your requirements here. Just let us know your business name and the number of course accesses required and we'll set it up for you. The courses can be done online on computer, laptop, android of apple device.
More info can be gained from the food standard agency or the National Hospitality Academy