Should you know more about allergies and intolerances?

If your business involves the preparation or serving of food products, you should be determined to provide products that your customers can consume safely and without risk to their health. Food safety training is always essential for those working in the food industry, but the question of allergies and intolerances is also becoming more important.

Food allergies are on the rise: since 1990, the number of children being admitted to hospital with anaphylaxis caused by the ingestion of a certain food type has increased by seven hundred per cent. Although the exact causes of this increase have not been found, it is thought that changes to our diet and to food hygiene practices could have been contributing factors.

While intolerances are not usually dangerous and symptoms can take time to manifest themselves, food allergies can have very serious consequences.

When food containing an allergen is consumed, the body’s immune system reacts. In the case of a severe reaction, a person can go into anaphylactic shock which is potentially fatal if it is not treated.

You can test your knowledge of allergies and intolerances on the NHS website; if you feel that your business and employees could benefit from more training on the issue, you should consider undertaking the CIEH training on healthier foods and special diets.