alexa Food allergy: gambling your life on a take-away meal.


Journal of Allergy & Therapy

Author(s): Leitch IS, Walker MJ, Davey R

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This study investigates whether or not it is possible to buy meals suitable for peanut allergy sufferers and assesses the training and guidance needs of catering staff and Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) in Northern Ireland with respect to serious food allergies. Meal samples purchased in food premises in the local authority regions of Northern Ireland (NI) were subjected to chemical analysis to check the assertions of the premises staff that they were suitable for peanut allergy sufferers. Officers also assessed if the customer was provided with any information on the allergenic status of foods produced by the establishment; if the EHOs taking the samples had received any training or guidance in allergy-related issues and to gauge the need for such training and guidance. Approximately one in five (13/62) of the premises provided meals which could possibly have triggered a fatal reaction in the purchaser. Most front of house staff did not check the allergen status of the meal with those doing the cooking and most EHOs felt that they needed more training in the subject of food allergen control in commercial food premises. It is important for food allergy sufferers and their medical advisers to be made aware of the limitations of avoidance advice and that false assurances persist of the absence of peanut protein in takeaway foods.

This article was published in Int J Environ Health Res and referenced in Journal of Allergy & Therapy

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