New Allergen Laws Make Things Worse N... - Gluten Free Guerr...

Gluten Free Guerrillas

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New Allergen Laws Make Things Worse Not Better (UK news story)

Benjamin123 profile image

"However, the new rules (Natasha's Law), which came into force on 1 October this year, have made some businesses so risk averse they are refusing to serve food to anyone who declares an allergy or asking customers with allergies to sign a waiver before they eat – despite advice not to do so from the Food Standards Agency (FSA)."

If anything, this is simply an admission by restaurants that they are aware their standards are so p*ss poor, despite gaslighting customers made ill by their poor standards, that their restuarants are not safe for anyone with allergen issues.

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After all the hype, this was probably predictable. As far as I am aware, anyone can open a catering outlet in UK. The only training requirement is a basic food hygiene qualification. I have thought for a long time that there should be specific mandatory allergen and cross contamination training for anyone preparing and serving food to the public. Especially as there is now a requirement for pre-packaged goods to have a full ingredient declaration. That in itself is a difficult thing to do if you do not have the appropriate training and good relationships with your suppliers. As is often the case with new legislation, it often seems like a good idea at the time, but has unintended consequences. We have all experienced similar things I am sure, but isn't this discriminatory? In some cases it could be construed as harassment under the Equality Act 2010. That could be an interesting challenge.

Seems to be they are all backed into a corner now, so all those times restaurants made us ill but gaslighted that it must have been something else, they have no more space to gaslight. It really is the truth of the situation as you say that the new legislation makes life more challenging not better. I hate this country for its crappy coeliac standards.

This morning, I have contacted the Food Standards Agency to make them aware of the unintended consequences of this new legislation and suggested that they make their existing (voluntary) Allergen & Cross Contamination training mandatory in the same way as the Food Hygiene Certificate is for all food handlers.

Very proactive! Interesting to see what they come back with.

I won't hold my breath...

One I found really ironic, was at the allergy and free from exhibition - one of the food stalls was advertising "gluten free pakora", but the couple in front of us thankfully did their due diligence and asked if it was safe for coeliac's, only to be told the spices had "may contain" warnings. The stall had basically been refusing to serve anyone who declared they had coeliac disease all weekend, despite advertising the food as gluten free. If you didn't mention you had CD, they weren't checking before serving you.

Although it's probably better to be refused, than the few I've called who say "yes, we offer gluten free. Yes our chef's know how to prepare gluten free food. No, we don't have procedures to avoid cross-contamination. Wait, why don't you want to eat here?"

Benjamin123 profile image
Benjamin123 in reply to Cooper27

That is shocking. They should have been thrown headfirst out of that event. Bunch of shysters.

That is shocking.

I think it makes things worse for people with allergies. I’m very suspicious of a lot of catering establishments these days, and in the past, have asked a lot of questions. Also, I’ve noticed that a lot of additives in foods specifically for gluten free diets have all kinds of chemicals in. If I go out anywhere, I feel more and more isolated. Even ‘bought’ products for consuming at home have that many, “may contain” labels on, that it’s exasperating trying to find foods to eat - mainly because I have other allergies and intolerances as well as coeliac disease.

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