Allergy UK appeals to food shoppers to consider the needs of people living with allergy during coronavirus pandemic
Allergy UK, the leading patient charity for millions of people living with allergic conditions, is appealing to shoppers to think about those that need ‘Free From’ foods to feed their families. The charity is receiving reports that shoppers are leaving ‘Free From’ fixtures empty as they buy up alternatives such as oat milk and gluten free bread when standard products are temporarily sold out, leaving people who need these products empty handed.
A mother of a young child with an allergy to cow’s milk has told the charity that she could not buy the oat milk her child needed because the fixture had been cleared. Despite reassurances from government and supermarkets, people are ‘bulk buying’ on a huge scale and this is impacting on people like this mother who need ‘Free From’ products to feed their children. They do not have the luxury of an alternative – a food allergy means complete avoidance of the allergen and they rely on certain ‘Free From’ products to keep their children safe from reactions that can be serious and even fatal.
Carla Jones, CEO of Allergy UK says “Of course we understand how anxious people are in the current circumstances. We are all living through unprecedented times with a high degree of uncertainty, but we are asking people to please consider the needs of a large group of people who do not have the luxury of choice. They need these food products and we are simply asking shoppers to be aware of these needs when they reach for a ‘Free From’ product when mainstream products are temporarily sold out. It is our responsibility to our community to highlight what we see as an unforeseen consequence of the bulk buying that has become such a feature of these times and to create an awareness that might prompt people to think again”.
The charity will also be contacting the leading supermarket chains to ask them to consider and protect the needs of the food allergic community in any plans to review and reduce product lines at this time.
“We will be asking supermarkets to take the needs of people living with food allergy into account in order to avoid the potential of our community being further disadvantaged in their ability to buy the food products they need” says Carla Jones.
Allergy UK is working with allergy specialists on its Health Advisory Board and the charity’s Clinical experts to provide specific information and advice about Coronavirus for people living with allergy. The charity will be providing advice and information through its communication channels, including the charity’s Helpline on 01322 619898, which has extended its hours to help manage the increase in calls.
For interview requests and further information, please contact:
Kirstie Logan-Townshend | +44 (0)77 06787 180
Katie French | +44 (0)79 56595 902
Available Allergy UK Spokespeople Include:
- Allergy UK CEO – Carla Jones
- Operations Director - Simone Miles
- Director of Clinical Services - Amena Warner
- Public Affairs and Communications Manager - Maggie Young
Notes to Editors
About Allergy UK
Allergy UK, the operational name of the British Allergy Foundation, is the leading national charity which provides advice and support to people with allergies and works with healthcare professionals and KOLs to help advance research, diagnosis and treatment. Allergy UK acts as the 'voice' of the UK’s millions of people with allergy, representing the views and healthcare needs of those affected by this multi-organ disease.
Allergy UK makes a difference by:
- Helping to improve the wellbeing of people with allergy by providing information and support through our dedicated Helpline which is supported by a Clinical Services team
- Empowering people with allergy to manage their symptoms
- Helping people with allergy to receive appropriate diagnosis and treatment through the education of Healthcare Professionals and other relevant audiences
- Providing a ‘Seal of Approval’ for products which are proven, through independent scientific testing, to be efficient at reducing allergens in the environment
- Providing an ‘Allergy Friendly Product’ award for products that may be of benefit for sufferers of allergy, asthma and sensitivity
- Educating manufacturing companies on the need for products suitable for allergy sufferers
- Working with corporate partners to raise awareness of allergic disease
- Working with KOLs on relevant scientific bodies to represent the needs of allergy sufferers
- Conducting ongoing research into the causes and impact of allergy and producing research and reports to lobby for better allergy services for sufferers.
The charity is a certified member of The Information Standard, which is an independent certification scheme for health and social care information supported by the Department of Health. www.theinformationstandard.org