A SUMMMER Allergy Awareness campaign is being held from today – hot on the heels of last week’s news surrounding ‘Natasha’s Law’.
Teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died after an allergic rection to a Pret A Manger baguette.
Under ‘Natasha’s Law’, which is set to come into force by the summer of 2021, food businesses will have to include full ingredients labelling on food that is pre-packed for direct sale.
This news comes at the time when councils from all over the South West will be promoting vital messages about food allergens – with both food businesses and consumers targeted from July 1st.
Recent FSA research shows that over 60% of young people, with a food allergy or intolerance, have avoided eating out in the last six months due to their condition.
Reactions can range from a slight itchy mouth or redness of the skin, to causing life-long disability or even death.
In the UK, an estimated 10 people die every year from food-induced anaphylaxis, and sadly teenagers and young adults appear to be at highest risk of severe rection.
Lisa Peters from Trading Standards South West, which is coordinating the region’s Easy to Ask campaign, said: “The role of local food enforcement authorities is to ensure that businesses are aware of their responsibilities towards their customers.
“This includes providing accurate information about which of the 14 allergens are included as ingredients in their food.
“They also help consumers understand what information they should look out for as well as ask food busineeses for, when eating out or ordering food, with an allergy.
“If you’re out for food, call the restuarnt beforehand to let them know about your allergy and to ensure they can safely cater for you. Then repeat this information when you make your order, and when your food arrives, double check that it has been prepared according to your needs. The business must be able to tell you the 14 allergens in the foods they are serving.”
The campaign is also being supported by the Food Standards Agency.
Dr Chun-Han Chan, food allergy policy lead at the Food Standards Agency, said: “Working in partnership with local authorities across the South West, we are dedicated to encouraging conversations between food businesses and their customers across the country.
“Together we want to help young people living with food allergies be confident that the food they are served is safe to consume every time. Our easy to ASK campaign aims to empower customers, whether they live with a food allergy or not, to speak up and help keep those at risk safe.”
The #easytoASK campaign, which is supported by the FSA, will begin from July 1st with awareness messages posted on Trading Standards South West social media accounts which can be found at www.facebook.com/TradStandSW and www.twitter.com/TradStandSW