Apparently in the UK roughly 1-2 % of adults and 5-8 % of children have a food allergy. A food allergy is when the body’s immune system reacts unusually to specific foods. Although allergic reactions are often mild, they can be very serious. In the most serious cases, a person has a severe reaction (anaphylaxis), which can be life threatening
That’s why it’s nearly 10 years since legislation was implemented that demanded foods that are served unpackaged to the public must be analysed to see if they contain any of the 14 approved allergens. This information can then be used to inform customers of what, if any, allergens are in any specific dish. Back in 2013 this was an arduous task checking all our dishes and their sub ingredients and noting them on the relevant event sheets. I remember we uncovered some strange findings, for instance did you know that Worcestershire sauce contains fish? Or that Sulphur dioxide can inhibit spoilage caused by microbes and is commonly used as a food preservative?
Here at Lemon Zest we have always taken this matter seriously and all our staff are and ROSPA to validate this. We have now also moved on from noting allergens on an event sheet to having an online food safety management system which stores all our dishes and their specific allergens. This can be accessed by an App so no matter how far we are from the kitchen the information is always at our fingertips.
There are murmurs within the food industry that the list maybe updated to include more than 14 products, but rest assured if it does, we will have it covered.