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Food allergy and intolerance awareness

Help for Food Businesses

Our food inspection procedures recognise the dangers posed by potentially life-threatening food allergies - abnormal reactions to some foods, causing anaphylaxis. Symptoms can show up within minutes of someone eating even the tiniest amount of a particular food and can include swelling of the throat and mouth, difficulty in breathing, collapse and unconsciousness. Common foods causing anaphylaxis include peanuts and tree nuts, shellfish and sesame seeds.

Food business proprietors must, by law, identify hazards in their food business and operate adequate safety measures to protect consumers. This includes food allergens. Our environmental health officers can provide information and advice to businesses on the risk posed to food allergy sufferers and steps that can be taken to avoid potentially life-threatening incidents.  On 13 December 2014, new legislation (the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation No. 1169/2011) came into force which requires food businesses to provide allergy information on food sold unpackaged, in for example catering outlets, deli counters, bakeries and sandwich bars. Guidance has been developed to help businesses meet these new requirements.

See more at: Allergy Guide and online allergy training at Allergy Training

Food Standards Agency Allergy Text Service

A free Allergy SMS Text Message Service is available and alerts people with a food allergy, who have signed up to the service, with an immediate notification that a product may be of risk to them. To sign up to this free service, simply send the text message 'START ALLERGY' to 62372. Texting 'STOP ALLERGY' unsubscribes you. The initial text will be charged at your network provider's rate.

The Responsible Retailer Allergy Awareness Scheme

A partnership involving the Environmental Health teams from Tandridge and other local Surrey councils, Surrey County Council Trading Standards, the Anaphylaxis Campaign and the British Allergy Foundation – aims to improve traders knowledge about food allergies and encourages businesses to follow a code of practice. The code covers complying with food safety and trading standard laws, voluntarily labeling foods containing harmful allergens and recognising consumer rights.

Help for individuals

Sign up on the Food Standards Agency website for email updates and to get the latest food and allergy alerts sent as an SMS text message to your mobile phone.


More information