People and businesses in Staffordshire are being reminded of the importance of clearly labelled food ingredients during national Allergy Awareness Week.
This year, the national campaign focuses on Travelling with Allergy and how to prepare for holidays, both in the UK and abroad.
The county council’s trading standards team wants to ensure people remember to check food ingredients while UK businesses trade responsibly and clearly display ingredients in English. UK restaurants and takeaways should always display allergen advice on menus. Allergy Awareness Week starts today, Monday April 23.
According to Allergy UK which is leading the campaign; over the last decade the cases of food allergies have doubled and the number of hospitalisations caused by severe allergic reactions has increased seven-fold (EAACI, 2015). The organisation says that six to eight per cent of children have a proven food allergy (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2011).
Staffordshire County Council’s communities leader Gill Heath said:
Food allergy is a growing concern and can be life threatening.
We’re using Allergy Awareness Week to remind people and businesses of the importance of clearly labelled ingredients on food products or meals in restaurants.
It is vital that people know what is in the food they’re about to eat and businesses have a responsibility to ensure that all ingredients are clearly labelled in English and allergy advice on menus.
Unfortunately we’ve had incidents in Staffordshire where people have ended up in hospital as a result of being served that has given them a severe reaction.
We want to remind businesses of their responsibilities in correctly labelling ingredients. We also want to keep Staffordshire people safe and with regard to food establishments would urge them if in any doubt, just walk out.”
People can find out more information by visiting: www.allergyuk.org