Everyone who works with food has a responsibility to make sure that food does not cause harm to consumers.
As a food business, irrespective of size or turnover, it is your responsibility to ensure that managers, supervisors and food handlers have the skills to ensure that the food you prepare, serve or sell is safe to eat. Food safety legislation not only covers general food hygiene, HACCP & management systems but also, since December 2014, food allergen management.
Food Allergens are a food safety hazard.
It is estimated that 21 million people in the UK suffer from at least one type of allergy. Up to 8% of children and 2% of adults on diagnosed with food allergy and at least one in 100 people has coeliac disease.
It is important for consumers to be able to make an informed choice about what to eat, when eating out, or what to buy, when shopping for food.
Under the Food Information Regulations 2014:
- Food allergen labeling on pre-packed foods has improved
- Food business operators are required to provide correct information about allergens in any food served or sold.
Developing food allergen awareness is key to complying with the new legislation and improving business. Your customers need to be confident that the information you provide is complete and correct and the food you serve or sell is safe to eat.
Since the legislation was implemented there has already been one highly publicized, catastrophic incident of a young lady, with known food allergies, being provided with a meal she was advised was safe for her to eat. She later became extremely unwell, was hospitalised & died from complications two days later. (This is currently under criminal investigation in consultation with the Food Standards Agency so there are no further details.)
Please do not be complacent about this legislation, food allergens need to be managed and controlled and all your staff need to be aware of the issues; in order to help businesses comply we are offering the CIEH Level 2 accredited Food Allergen Awareness course which is a great training course for any food business.
We are also happy to offer food allergen advice and consultations to food businesses to guide you in how best to comply with legislation.