If you are an existing food business operator seeking advice or guidance, please contact us directly and a Food Safety Officer will be in touch.
National research has found that nearly a quarter of people are spending more on takeaways and food deliveries now than before the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the Food Standards Agency fears that some food allergy sufferers – particularly teenagers – feel embarrassed by their intolerances, and are risking grave consequences by not making sure what they order is safe.
Please don't feel awkward about having an allergy and follow the tips below to keep you, your family and your friends safe.
- Be allergy aware – Find out if anyone in the group you’re ordering for has a food allergy.
- Speak to the restaurant every time – If ordering by app, don’t rely on the in-app messaging service. Call the restaurant directly and make sure they understand the allergy. Remember to ask, even when ordering the usual, 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.
New requirements are in place as of 1 October 2021 to label foods that are prepacked for direct sale with the name of the food, the ingredients list and the allergens.
The Food Standards Agency has further detail according to business type, with online training resources available via the Food Standards Agency Introduction to allergen labelling changes (PPDS) guidance.
To see the consequences of a business being found to be noncompliant by our officers during the inspection process please see this story from the Chronicle about a Newcastle shop fined thousands after inspectors find dirt covered walls and meat kept in buckets.