South Kesteven District Council is continuing to help food businesses prepare for new rules on allergens through a series of workshops in Stamford and Grantham.
Food businesses in the district due an inspection from January to June 2015 have been invited to the sessions that will help traders check their responsibilities to verbally explain or signpost allergenic information for the food they sell or provide.
January and February’s sessions are fully booked but sessions can be booked in Stamford and Grantham for dates later this year.
Workshops will take place in the Witham Room, SKDC offices, St Peter’s Hill, on March 17 at 10am, March 31 at 6pm, April 28 at 10am and June 2 at 1pm. Other food businesses may request a place on these workshops by visiting www.southkesteven.gov.uk/foodallergens emailing email@example.com or calling 01476 406080.
Currently, when supermarket bakeries, delis, cafes, restaurants, takeaways and other food outlets sell loose foods, they don’t have to provide information to customers about food allergens.
Allergens produce an abnormally vigorous immune response in some people which leads to the body fighting off a perceived threat that would otherwise be harmless to the body, commonly known as an allergy.
Food allergies can cause life-threatening reactions and the number of people with this condition is growing.
The new rules will mean that all food businesses will need to inform customers if any of 14 allergenic ingredients are present in the food they make or serve.
This can be communicated to customers in writing on menus, verbally through explanations by staff or signposted to where or how more information can be found.
Although the new EU rules are now coming into force, they were published in October 2011, to give food businesses three years to get ready for the new provisions.
Local authorities will be working together with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to make sure businesses know what to do and how to provide safe food for those with food allergies and intolerances.
To help enforcement officers and businesses with these new rules, the FSA has developed a range of training and education materials which can be found here.