Food Standards Scotland launches allergen alert tool

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

A new allergy alert service has been launched by Food Standards Scotland
A new allergy alert service has been launched by Food Standards Scotland
Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has launched a new food allergy alert service, offering consumers on-the-go updates on missing or incorrect allergen information on food labels.

The free service, available through the FSS homepage, gives the option to receive specific alerts via text message or email on issues involving any of the 14 ingredients that must be mentioned as allergens on food and drink packaging in the UK (see box below).

Head of FSS’s Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit Ron McNaughton said: “Food allergies can significantly impact people’s quality of life and Food Standards Scotland is here to make sure people with food allergies or intolerances have the information they need to make informed choices.

Tailored safety alerts

“We work closely with local authorities, food businesses and the Food Standards Agency to make people in Scotland aware of any allergen information issues and we’d urge anyone with a food allergy in Scotland to sign up for tailored food allergy alerts by text or email.”

The launch followed recent consumer research that found that 15% of the people surveyed either had a food allergy or had someone in their household with one.

‘Safe choices’

Holly Shaw, nurse advisor with charity Allergy UK, added: “Making safe choices is an important part of day-to-day living with a food allergy. Alert services like this are a great way of communicating information that enable the food allergic person to stay informed and safe.”

Meanwhile, the Food Standards Agency has rejected claims it should require foodservice firms to print full allergen labelling on packaged foods displayed to consumers under allergen labelling guidelines.

Bob Salmon, director of Food Solutions – who helped write EU labelling legislation and guidance – stated in a letter to The Daily Telegraph​ last month: “You report that many takeaways do not give adequate guidance on allergens. This is partly because the FSA has ignored the instruction from the European Commission in April 2014 that demands full allergen labelling for foods on display for customers to select.​”

Food allergens

  • Cereals containing gluten
  • Eggs
  • Mustard
  • Sesame seeds
  • Tree nuts
  • Crustaceans
  • Sulphur dioxide and sulphites
  • Celery
  • Milk
  • Soybeans
  • Peanuts
  • Fish
  • Molluscs
  • Lupin

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