According to research 0.4% of the population had a peanut allergy in 1997 and by 2008 this number had increased to 1.4% which suggests food allergies are becoming more prevalent. An estimated 39% of children are allergic to something, with 6-8% diagnosed with a specific food allergy.
The report includes contributions from Dr Helen Brough, consultant in paediatric allergy at St Thomas’ Hospital, as well as industry research and findings from a sector roundtable discussion with 12 of the industry’s leading professionals in their field.
Dr Brough said: “For hospitality operators, this is an intricate challenge with a number of different elements. In order to prevent fatal accidents from occurring, it requires clear communication and collaboration across all businesses to establish, cement and execute best practices.
“Studies, such as this report, demonstrate there is a real appetite and hunger from those within the eating and drinking out-of-home industries to tackle this challenge, and that brings much cause for optimism.”
The report contains an overview on the new Natasha’s Law legislation, which comes into force this October, establishing the roles and responsibilities of businesses to adhere to the new policy.
Sebastien Sepierre, managing director EMEA, Fourth, added: “Over the course of the past year, the industry has been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, we have pulled together to tackle this unprecedented challenge, which is something to be truly proud of.
“As we cautiously look ahead to a restriction-free world, the importance of tackling the allergens challenge enters the fray once more, with the upcoming Natasha’s Law legislation reinforcing the immediacy and importance of the issue.”