Mid Ulster District Council has provided free allergen seminars for local catering businesses to help them manage the risk of allergens and to explain their legal requirements.
Three seminars took place across the District with 160 representatives from local catering businesses attending.
Food allergies and intolerances can be a significant hazard to those sensitive to them, whether present in the food as a deliberate ingredient or through cross contamination. Symptoms are often mild but can also be very serious.
In December 2014, the law on how food allergy information was provided by food businesses changed, requiring food business operators to provide information on the 14 allergens (and their derivatives) used in the preparation of food.
The Food Information Regulations (NI) 2014 will make it easier for consumers with an allergy or food intolerance to buy food or eat out.
Food business operators must have robust systems in place to identify and verify the allergen information on any foods supplied to them, and by them, and have confidence in the supply chain.
The Allergen seminars were an opportunity to remind food business operators of their legal obligations and assist with their compliance.
Deputy Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Mark Glasgow, commented:
“It’s great to see so many local businesses attending the seminars and recognising the importance of good allergen management, to the benefit of their business and customers. It is easy to see why having the correct information is so important, when it is reported that within the UK, 8% of children and 2% of adults are affected. This equates to around 2 million people in the UK whose food choices are dictated by their allergies.”
For more information on the allergen requirements for businesses, please contact http://www.midulstercouncil.org/Services/Food/ or contact the Environmental Health Department on 03000 132 132.