Why food allergy and intolerances matter
When a person has a food allergy or intolerance, eating even a small amount of that food can make them very ill. So it’s very important for us to take food allergies and intolerances seriously.
The percentage of adults and children suffer from an allergy. – (8% children, 2% adults)
It is therefore important that our customers with food allergies and/or intolerances are able to make informed choices when choosing food to eat in our restaurants. All our team members serving customers need to be aware of the potential risks to their customers’ health.
The new Regulations relating to allergens within foods state that a process must be in place to ensure that allergen information can be easily obtained; is accurate and is consistent.
The 14 Allergens that we need to communicate to our customers are:
- Tree Nuts – almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, Brazils, pistachios, macadamia, Queensland
- Gluten – Cereals containing gluten i.e. wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut
- Sesame – Seeds, paste, oils
- Molluscs – mussels, oysters, squid
- Fish / Fish Sauce
- Soya / Soybeans
- Celery / Celeriac
- Shellfish / Crustaceans – crab, lobster, crayfish, shrimp, prawn
- Lupin – Lupin flour used in the baking of bread/pastries
- Sulphites – Sulphur Dioxide
Some of our customers may be allergic or intolerant to food items not on this list; for example, kiwi fruit. The new regulations state that we must be able to communicate ingredients within our menu items, regardless of whether they are a known allergen.
These allergens can be found within a wide range of our menu items. Sometimes, these can be hidden and not associated with certain foods.
What are the common symptoms of an allergic reaction?
- Dry, Itchy throat, skin and tongue.
- Skin rashes.
- Nausea and feeling bloated
- Diarrhoea and/or vomiting
- Wheezing and shortness of breath and coughing.
- Swelling of the lips and throat
Symptoms can appear within minutes or up to several hours after someone has eaten a food item to which they have an allergy.
Severe examples of the above conditions; E.g. shortness of breath, severe swelling of the throat and lips is known as Anaphylaxis.
Some people suffer from food intolerances which should not be confused with food allergies, however;
Intolerances are more common than allergies. Symptoms (e.g. bloating, stomach cramps, etc) often come on several hours after eating. Intolerances aren’t life threatening but can make some people very unwell.
What are the different types of Food Intolerances’?
- Gluten Intolerance (known as Coeliac Disease).
- Lactose Intolerance.
- Fructose Intolerance (Fruit Sugar).
- Yeast Sensitivity.
At all of our refectories and cafes we have allergen champions who you can talk to find out what is in our menus.
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