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Allergies: Food

Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the labelling of food in restaurants and fast food outlets in relation to potential allergens; whether he plans to take steps to raise awareness of the risk of nut derivatives and other allergens in food served by such outlets; and if he will make a statement. (242628)

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is working closely with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and other Government Departments, in considering the new European Food Information proposal, which aims to increase the availability of allergen information for foods sold loose, including in catering establishments, within the European Union.

The FSA already provides best practice guidance to help businesses selling food that is not pre-packed to meet the needs of their food allergic customers and has recently introduced an interactive training module on its website that is freely available for such businesses to use. The FSA has also worked with the Sector Skills Council to ensure that training for those working in the hospitality sector covers food allergy issues as part of the food safety training.