Impending regulation requiring all food service outlets to declare the allergens in their food is causing havoc in pub chains across the country, according to the organiser of the new Free From Eating Out Awards.
It reports a nut and dairy allergy sufferer, Ruth, who blogs at What Allergy?, caused havoc in her local pub restaurant when she asked for steak with chips and peas but asked them not to use any butter or nuts in cooking or dressing her meal as she was severely allergic to both.
Despite the fact this was a very risk-free, easy-to-prepare meal, the pub went into full scale panic mode, declaring that nothing that came out of their kitchen would be safe for her to eat and that therefore they could not feed her or her party.
A two-hour training session would have taught the pub’s staff enough about allergy to enable them to make Ruth a safe meal thus avoiding a hugely embarrassing situation for all concerned, said awards orgnaiser, FoodsMatter.
The regulations requiring all food outlets to declare any of the 14 major allergens used in their food come into force in December 2014 so there is still plenty of time for even small food outlets to get their heads around what they need to do, said FoodsMatter. And there are plenty of training courses out there ready to help them.
To encourage food service companies to engage fully with those on freefrom or allergen free diets – and to cash in on the very substantial market for free from food (over a £100m a year in gluten-free meals alone according to Coeliac UK) – the team behind the FreeFrom Food Awards will be launching FreeFrom Eating Out Awards in April 2014.
Check out the website for more details – www.FreeFromEatingOutAwards.