Speak Up For Allergies

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Speak Up for Allergies Campaign

In March 2022, the Food Standards Agency (FSA ) introduced the second phase of its ‘Speak Up for Allergies’ campaign.

Launched in February 2021, the campaign was conceived after research showed that children and young people are at a higher risk of experiencing food allergy reactions. It aims to encourage young adults with food allergies or intolerances to be proactive in telling the food business that they have a dietary restriction when eating out or ordering takeaway.

Rebecca Sudworth, Director of Policy at the Food Standards Agency said:

“Our research has revealed that young people are eating takeaways more often than before lockdown. With eating-in being the new eating out, it is vital that young people with food allergies and their friends remember to speak to the restaurant every time they make an order. Even if it’s a meal they’ve eaten before, because ingredients, recipes and staff can change.”

The campaign advises young people not to rely on allergen information provided online or through in-app messaging services, but to call the food business directly to make sure their food allergy is fully understood by the person taking the order.

In March 2022, the FSA launched the next phase, which encourages young people to support their friends with food allergies when eating out, provides resources to help businesses implement effective allergen management processes and highlights the importance of serving staff having sufficient information and training to respond to allergen enquiries from consumers.

Rebecca Sudworth, Director of Policy at the Food Standards Agency said:

“Food allergies can be life threatening and affect millions of people across the UK. It is important that young people feel comfortable telling a food business about their allergy, and that the food business is receptive and understanding of them.”

The FSA’s top tips for ordering an allergy-safe takeaway are:

Be allergy aware – Find out if anyone in the group you’re ordering for has a food allergy.
Speak to the business every time – If ordering by app, don’t rely on the in-app messaging service. Call and make sure the allergy is understood. Do this every time, because the recipe, ingredients, chef or kitchen staff may have changed.
Be clear – Give examples of food that could cause a reaction and be clear about the allergy.
Ask the restaurant to label the allergy-safe meal – Make sure the container will be labelled so that it’s clear when the meal arrives and there’s no risk of cross-contamination.
Follow your instincts – If the person you’re ordering from doesn’t understand the allergy or intolerance, ask to speak to the manager. If you still don’t feel confident, consider ordering elsewhere.
Don’t feel embarrassed – There is no need to feel awkward asking about allergy. Food business are legally required to make allergen information available when you order and when the food is delivered.

Find out more about the campaign and watch the FSA videos for young people.

At Menu Guide, we think that allergen management and eating safely is a partnership between food business and consumer. Whoever initiates the dialogue, the most important thing is that customers with a food allergy or intolerance have an easy, reliable way to find out what’s in the food on their plate and that all staff provide consistently accurate information.

That’s where Menu Guide comes in. Let us help you easily create and share an interactive, user-friendly menu that customers can see 24/7 and staff can refer to when advising on safe food choices.

Use your allergen menus as a marketing tool. Try Menu Guide free for a month and see the difference it makes.

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