The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched a campaign advising young adults to speak up about their food allergies every time they order a takeaway.
Research shows that children and young people are at a higher risk of experiencing food allergy reactions. And while many are confident about managing their food allergy in general, they are less likely to tell a cafe or restaurant about their allergy, particularly if they have eaten a meal from the same place before.
Rebecca Sudworth, Director of Policy at the Food Standards Agency, said: “Our research has revealed that young people are eating takeaways more often than before lockdown. With eating-in being the new eating out, it is vital that young people with food allergies and their friends remember to speak to the restaurant every time they make an order. Even if it’s a meal they’ve eaten before, because ingredients, recipes and staff can change.
“If you, or your friends or family have a food allergy, it’s important to never be complacent. That’s why we’re reminding people to be allergy aware and remember to ask, even when ordering the usual.”
The FSA is also advising young people not to only rely on allergen information provided online or through in-app messaging services. Instead, they should call the food business directly to make sure their food allergy is fully understood by the person taking the order.
The FSA is working with influencers across Instagram and TikTok who will promote #SpeakUpForAllergies to their followers.
The campaign also has support from delivery platforms such as Just Eat and Uber Eats.
There is more information on ‘Speak Up For Allergies’ and advice for teenagers and young adults with a food allergy on the FSA website at www.food.gov.uk/SpeakUpForAllergies