FSA Board agrees to strengthen allergy information for consumers

The latest recommendations from the FSA regarding allergy information

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FSA Board agrees to strengthen allergy information for consumers

FSA Board agrees to strengthen allergy information for consumers

The FSA board has agreed is would like to see written allergen information be mandated in the non-prepacked sector and will be discussing with Ministers on the matter.

Commenting on the Board‘s position, Professor Susan Jebb, Chair on the FSA said:

“At the FSA we are committed to making lives better for the 2 million people who have a food allergy, food intolerance or coeliac disease. In today’s discussions, it was clear that the Board feel that we should set an expectation that food businesses like coffee shops and restaurants provide allergen information in writing as well as having a conversation.”

The Board also considers that to maximise the likelihood of this happening, written information should be a legal requirement, rather than just guidance. I will write to Ministers in England and Wales, the Permanent Secretary in Northern Ireland and contact my counterpart at Food Standards Scotland to discuss the Board’s position as the Board would like to see them take this forward on a four-country basis.

Meanwhile I want us to do all we can in the FSA to provide guidance and support to business so that we can quickly start to make improvements that will be helpful for people with food hypersensitivities when they are eating out.

I would also like to thank the Carey family for all their work in highlighting the importance of this issue since their son Owen died tragically after unwittingly eating food he was allergic to in 2017.”

Our Chief Executive Kate Nicholls of UK Hospitality said in response:

“Hospitality businesses take allergen management extremely seriously and do everything within their power to be transparent with customers about ingredients.

The overarching message we receive from hospitality businesses, both large and small, is that dialogue between staff and customer can be the most valuable and effective way to cater for people with allergies, alongside other methods to communicate allergy information.

While all businesses make available allergen information for customers, additional guidance is always useful to ensure a venue’s practice is as best as it can be.

Given the ever-changing nature of menu items and ingredients used, it’s often the case that blanket policies lack the nuance needed to deliver effective allergen management.

We’re keen to continue working with the FSA in developing this guidance, to ensure it is practical for businesses, and gain a better understanding of its recommendation to mandate written allergen information.”

Juliet Moran - Managing Director of Allergy Menu response:

“Ensuring the safety of consumers in the food industry is essential in today’s modern world.

Allergy Menu bridges the gap between what consumers want and what the restaurant industry needs. A technology solution to empower the consumer to have direct, live information from the chef regarding their food choices. While streamlining management of allergy information for the restaurant, to ensure it‘s a simple and easy process to manage.

We look forward to the outcome of the government decision regarding new legislation on Owens Law.”

Written on 2023-12-18 by Juliet Moran

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