Stapleford mum welcomes new law that forces restaurants and takeaways to display food allergy information
MUM whose two children suffer from severe allergies hopes new food regulations will give them more choice on what to eat.
Stapleford resident Lisa Clarke, 40, welcomed the new law coming into force on Saturday, December 13 that means restaurants and takeaways must spell out whether food contains ingredients that are allergens.
But she hopes it will be strengthened by staff being given more training to understand what it means for customers.
Ms Clarke, a nurse who specialises in allergies, said: “It’s going to be useful and certainly makes a difference as it forces restaurants and delis to have the same kind of coverage as shops and supermarkets.
“Hopefully it will mean people with allergies will be able to widen their shopping and eating experiences a bit.”
Under the new measures, staff must provide details on 14 allergens, including nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, gluten, milk, wheat, celery, eggs, fish, soya, lupin, molluscs, mustard and sulphur dioxide.
The law covers food served in bakeries, cafes, care homes and packaged produce sold by supermarkets, with potential fines for repeat offenders.
But Ms Clarke is concerned the regulations don’t mention the importance of training staff.
Her daughter Aeron Slater, 13, has a severe allergy to eggs, dairy and tree nuts, and her son Jevan Slater, 16, is allergic to peas, lentils and eggs.
The family have previously struggled to find restaurants with staff that understand their complex needs.
Ms Clarke said: “It seems to cover the fact that if you’re in a restaurant then the menu will be detailed and the staff have to be able to tell you what the contents are.
“But I wonder quite how brilliant it will be because a lot of restaurants and pubs don’t have great training.
“If it’s followed correctly it should be good. Places like Nando’s and some delis already have a booklet behind the counter for staff to check what’s in the food.
“As soon as you mention it to them you see the look of recognition, which is reassuring.”