To coincide with Allergy Awareness Week (24-30 April), Officers from Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards are helping local businesses better understand their food allergen labelling responsibilities.
This year’s national campaign has adopted the theme ‘It’s time to take allergies seriously’ as part of efforts to raise awareness of the psychological impact and isolation that living with an allergy can cause.
Food businesses such as restaurants, bars and takeaways have a duty to provide allergen information to their customers, either in written format or verbally.
Recent market inspections carried out by Trading Standards Officers identified a number of imported foods where allergenic ingredients have not been declared. This resulted in incidents being notified to the Food Standards Agency and national product recalls taking place.
Philip White, Deputy Leader at Staffordshire County Council said: “Allergy Awareness Week gives us a good opportunity to remind people and food businesses of the importance of providing clear ingredients information.
“We have seen cases locally where people have been harmed having had an allergic reaction after eating food products, so we’re keen to prevent this and protect consumers wherever possible.
“It’s time to take allergies seriously is the strapline for this year’s campaign and the message is simple. Food businesses need to be aware of their responsibilities and people with food allergies should read ingredient labels carefully, and if eating out, let their dining companions, servers and chefs know about their allergies, to ensure their safety.”