Eating Out This Christmas?

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Around 70% of people with allergies avoid buying takeaways due to fears about allergens and a lack of trust in the information they are given, according to recent research released by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Allergy UK.

More than half of those with allergies (53%) said they avoided eating in restaurants for the same reason.

Since 13th December 2014, Restaurants and takeaways will be required by law to tell customers if any of the top 14 allergen ingredients are present in the foods they serve.

These ingredients range from nuts and milk to less widely recognised allergens, including mustard and lupin seeds. Around 2 million people in the UK suffer from allergies including 2% of adults and 8% of children.

A survey, carried out by the Food Standards Agency, found that over half of their respondents did not feel confident in their knowledge of ingredients related to food allergies and intolerances.

On average 10 people die and around 5,000 are hospitalised per year in the UK due to allergic reactions.

This is a growing issue in the UK, with hospital admissions relating to allergies rising by 87% between 2002 and 2014.

However, the same study conducted by the FSA found that half of all UK adults have either limited or no knowledge at all about the ingredients that cause allergic reactions.

The legislation is a huge step forward for those with food allergies, who should now feel confident they have a right to ask about allergenic ingredients in the foods they buy.

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