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Food Allergy Sufferer - Our guide to ordering food SAFELY!

May 08, 2019

Food Allergy Sufferer - Our guide to ordering food SAFELY!

If you have a food allergy or intolerance, when you order a takeaway or visit a restaurant it’s imperative that you have all the information you need to make a safe food choice. We’ve listed some things you should think about before ordering a meal.

  • Check allergen information is accurate.
  • Be extra careful if the restaurant serves complex dishes, as allergens could be less obvious or hidden.
  • If you have any doubt about the staff understanding the importance of your dietary needs, do not book the restaurant.
  • Speak to the manager or owner. Be clear about your food allergy/intolerance.
  • Check the meal choices are suitable for you or that they can make changes to suit your dietary needs.
  • Remind them to be careful of cross-contamination or added allergens from glazes, sauces, cooking oils, and to handle your meal with care.
  • If you have any doubt about the staff understanding the importance of your dietary needs, do not eat there.
  • Check that the allergen information is available on the menu, online or over the telephone.
  • when ordering for several people, make sure the restaurant labels your meal, so you know which order is safe for you.

Allergic reactions can be life threatening and must be taken very seriously by those working in the catering industry. The most common dietary cause of severe reactions are peanuts, tree nuts (e.g. walnut, almond, hazelnut, brazil, pistachio, cashew, macadamia and pecan) egg and shellfish. However, any food has the potential to cause a severe reaction – not just nuts.

Eating out Can Be a Risk for someone with a Food Allergy. Eating food prepared by others always carries an element of risk for someone with a food allergy. In December 2014, new regulations came into place. These are known as the European Food Information to Consumers Regulation No 1169/2011 (FIC). These regulations are a legal requirement and provide a framework for catering outlets to abide by, to ensure that information on all of the top 14 allergens is available to customers with a food allergy.

In the UK, food businesses must tell you if they use any of the 14 key allergens as ingredients in the food and drink, they provide.

Food businesses include restaurants, cafés and takeaways, and businesses that produce, manufacture or pre-pack food.

The 14 allergens that they need to declare are:

  • celery
  • cereals containing gluten – including wheat, rye, barley and oats
  • crustaceans – such as prawns, crabs and lobsters
  • eggs
  • fish
  • lupin
  • milk
  • molluscs – such as mussels and oysters
  • mustard
  • tree nuts – including almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts
  • peanuts
  • sesame seeds
  • soybeans
  • sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if they are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million)

Ultimate Heat provide heated delivery bags to takeaway outlets and caterers. They are designed to deliver hot takeaway food from kitchen to fork as hot as it left your oven.

You can order our Ultimate heat bags online or simply read more about us here.

Read our previous blog post ‘The launch of our new range! Excel London.

We offer free technical pre-sales advice, if you are not 100% certain what options best for your business, please give us a call, email or live chat via the website and our technical team will offer you advice. Call: (+44) 01854 611 222


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