This week I was contacted by an agency working with the Food Standards Agency who are developing a campaign to raise awareness and understanding of the different allergens that can be present in the food we consume.
As most of you will be aware this Saturday new allergen labelling legislation comes into force. Very briefly, this means:
1) Allergenic ingredients will be highlighted on packaged products in the ingredients list
2) A verbal or written list of allergens will be available for unpacked foods (including food sold in cafe’s, restaurant’s and deli’s)
3) No more allergen boxes. Manufacturers might choose to have an advice box telling you if there is a risk of cross-contamination, but this is not legally required (and never has been)
Anyway, the agency that contacted me were doing so to create case studies of people affected by food allergies and intolerances in order to ‘bring to life’ the impact that the new allergen labelling will have on us.
I hope that in some small way, our story might help some businesses to see how important it is to provide accurate information about what is in their food. I understand that for most businesses this may seem like an additional burden that is hard to stomach.
However, for us it will mean (I hope) that eating out will become a less hit and miss affair with accurate information given to us about what is safe to eat.
The old “I am not sure if it is OK” will no longer be good enough and this will make a big difference to a certain 7-year-olds experience of eating out where she can detect an element of hesitation a mile off!
This infographic from the FSA might be useful to explain which allergens will be highlighted from Saturday:
Finally, you could take a look at my Catering Tips page that give lots of information about how to cater safely for those with allergies.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this new labelling. Do you think it will be helpful?
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