Restaurants, takeaways and ready-meals will all be required to provide allergy information under a new EU law which came into force last month
Over 2 million people in the UK suffer from food allergies. They must now be informed if their food contains any of 14 ingredients that cause severe allergies including nuts, milk, celery, gluten, soya and wheat.
South East MEP Catherine Bearder commented: “This new law will make a huge difference to the lives of people with severe allergies. Chefs and their staff already know about these ingredients but they will now have to make it clear what allergens are present in their food at point of sale and could be fined it they don’t. Providing clearer information about ingredients will prevent the number of severe allergic reactions and save lives.”
The Hampshire-based Anaphylaxis Campaign, which helps severe allergy sufferers, also welcomed the changes. Lynne Regent, CEO of the Anaphylaxis Campaign said: “We welcome these new EU regulations and we have been actively engaged in their implementation. These new rules will enable people living with severe food allergies to feel more confident, reassured and safe whilst eating out.”
North West Hants Lib Dem spokesman Len Gates, a technical manager in the food industry, added “This shows the important improvements to food safety which can be achieved through co-operation across Europe. Food manufacturers and ingredient suppliers already routinely record allergen information on ingredients and finished products. This information can and should be available to all consumers.”