The Environmental Health Teams at Boston Borough Council, East Lindsey District Council and South Holland District Council work with businesses daily, to promote food safety and encourage businesses to adopt good practices and provide clear customer information on allergens in food.
The Councils are pleased to support the FSA “Speak Up for Allergies” campaign which encourages young people to support friends with allergies when eating out at restaurants and highlights the important role businesses play in supporting people with allergies.
There are lots of resources available to businesses on the FSA website including posters, guidance, training, and a handy allergen checklist which can be found here: Allergen guidance for food businesses | Food Standards Agency
Restaurants and cafes must provide allergen information in writing, which could be information on their menu, or a prompt explaining how you can obtain this information. Ideally customers with allergies should check the menu online, or call ahead to find out what the allergens policy is. The advice is to always try to be clear about your allergy or intolerance and give examples. If you feel that the person you are speaking to does not understand your needs, ask to speak to the manager. Getting support from friends and partners is also important so that they can help with menu choices or conversations with staff.
Communicating with partners and friends is also important, so that they know whether to avoid certain food types. This will make them better understand how they can help those with a food allergy. We would also like to encourage businesses to check they are meeting the requirements for food allergens, and have open and honest conversations with their customers.
In a joint statement for the South& East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership; Councillor Deborah Evans, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health at Boston Borough Council, Councillor Martin Foster, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health at East Lindsey and Councillor Anthony Casson, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection at South Holland District Council said, “This recent campaign by the Food Standards Agency sheds light on the seriousness of food allergies but also promotes the importance of support from friends and loved ones which can have a real positive impact on those with food allergies whilst eating out”.