Take allergy seriously as a café, takeaways and restaurants

Take food allergy seriously

10 ways you can be better informed about food allergies and equipped to meet the needs of a customer living with a food allergy: 

  1. Know the food law and provide written allergen information to all customers.
  2. Implement robust food allergy management procedures. Here is the best practice allergen guidance for all food businesses. 
  3. Ensure all staff are trained in understanding allergies, allergy management procedures and how to manage allergic reactions/anaphylaxis, with regular refreshes. 
  4. Remember, consumers may be allergic to an allergen outside of the top 14 that you are legally required to disclose. Offer full, transparent, accurate and specific ingredient information on all dishes.
  5. Remember to include garnishes on ingredient lists for all food and drinks. 
  6. Keep staff up to date with menu and ingredient changes and substitutions. Ideally, brief staff on menu changes at the beginning of each shift and have an up-to-date allergen matrix always made available for all staff. 
  7. Ensure kitchen staff understand how cross-contamination can occur, how to minimise the risk of cross-contamination, and the consequences to both diners and businesses when these procedures are not followed. Here is guidance on how to prevent cross-contamination for all food businesses
  8. Remember, cross-contamination can also happen through using the same cooking oil.
  9. Never second guess. If there is any uncertainty around whether a dish has been cross-contaminated or accidentally made with an allergen, it is safer not to serve it. 
  10. Never pick off an allergen from a food and then serve it back to someone with an allergy. 
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What it's like to live with a food allergy

When living with a food allergy, there is no 'justs' when it comes to eating. Whether it's grabbing a coffee or attending a friends birthday dinner - every choice counts.

The impact

  • 40%

    of adults with a food allergy have had a reaction to food despite being told the meal was safe.

    (Allergy UK, 2023)

  • 78%

    of parents caring for a child with a food allergy have been told that a food establishment couldn’t guarantee the meal or food would be safe.

    (Allergy UK, 2023)

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