Every day, as many as 44 per cent of allergy sufferers live in fear of a reaction, with eating out causing extreme anxiety for those living with severe food allergies, according to Allergy UK.
In addition to this, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) claims that every year roughly ten people die from food-induced anaphylactic reactions, meaning that serving the wrong food to someone with an allergy could be life-threatening and have severe consequences for the premises.
In response to these concerning figures, Allergy UK has released a free ‘Guide to Food Allergy’ in attempt to inform food handlers about allergies and help them reduce risks for allergic customers.
Allergy awareness is one of the many food-safety issues for those who handle food,own restaurants or other food establishments, and it must be kept high on their radar.
According to the charity, many allergic reactions could be avoided if regulations were properly understood, adhered to by staff and if practical allergen management processes were enforced and followed.
It is believed that this is one of Allergy UK’s first steps towards supporting and educating the catering industry about taking allergens seriously. On top of the release of their allergy guide, the charity are also running the Allergy Aware Scheme, which helps provide consumers with confidence when eating out at accredited food sites.
The initiative encourages operators to take allergens seriously while also offering a high-standard of service for those with allergies.
According to Allergy UK, the top 14 known allergens are: eggs, sesame, milk, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, crustaceans (a type of shellfish - e.g. prawns), soya, gluten containing grains, molluscs (a type of shellfish - e.g. mussels), lupin, mustard, celery and sulphites.