On February 24th, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) launched #Speakupforallergies, following research that revealed young people are at a higher risk of experiencing an allergic reaction when it comes to food allergies.
It is believed that although young people on a whole are confident when it comes to managing their food allergies, they are seen to be less likely to tell a café or a restaurant about their allergies, especially when they have eaten there before.
The campaign encourages allergy sufferers to speak out on their allergies and always let a restaurant know whenever ordering food.
Their motto “never assume, as ingredients can change”
Janai Alissa, 22, who has a shellfish allergy, as well as an allergy to cantaloupe, says, “I do check the ingredients of a meal I’ve never tried before just in case.
If I look at their menu and see a lot of other dishes that include things I am allergic to or see the potential for cross-contamination, I will leave my allergies in the notes section when I order or call if I have to.
If I do not see a need to say anything, then I won’t, and I assume I’ll be fine, especially if I’m ordering something I’ve had already.”
Michelle Young, 29, who is lactose intolerant, says, “I usually get the same thing when I get a takeaway, so I’m not worried.
“I’m usually more bothered if it’s been cooked in the same stuff as meat than anything else.”
Hannah Falcon 25, who suffers from oral allergy syndrome says “I wouldn’t inform a restaurant; I can usually safely avoid eating anything I’m allergic too (though not always).
“I have to be wary with some takeaways, especially Indian food since they often use cashews in their cooking so I can’t assume a meal will always okay,
“I’d avoid it if I had a bad experience”.
For More information on the #speakupforallergies campaign, visit https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/advice-for-teenagers-and-young-adults-with-a-food-allergy