December 14, 2014
Burnham food businesses warned as new allergy rules are launched

Food businesses across the Burnham-On-Sea area have this weekend been urged to ensure they are complying with new rules that came into force on Sarturday that require clearer food allergen information being given to customers.

From Saturday (13th December) all food businesses now have to explain or signpost allergenic information for the food they sell and provide.

Previously, local bakeries, cafes and restaurants who sold loose foods didn't have to provide information about food content allergy warnings to customers.

The rules have been introduced after national research found the primary cause of food allergy deaths in the UK is allergic reactions after food is consumed outside the home where allergenic ingredients have not been declared.

Sedgemoor District Council is overseeing the rules in the Burnham area and has urged local food providers to check they comply.

"The new rules mean that all food businesses will need to inform customers if any of 14 allergenic ingredients are present in the food they make or serve," spokeswoman Sam Taylor told

"This can be communicated to customers in writing on menus, verbally through explanations by staff, or signposted to where or how more information can be found."

"Although the new EU rules have come into force this weekend, they were published in October 2011 to give food businesses three years to get ready for the new provisions."

A Food Standards Agency spokesperson added: "Food allergies affect approximately 5-8% of children and 1-2% of adults. This means that around 2 million people in the UK are living with a food allergy. People with food allergies can react to very small amounts of food, such as a teaspoon of yoghurt, a single peanut or even an egg glaze used to brush over pies."

"There is no cure for food allergies, so the only way for people to manage the condition is to avoid the food that makes them ill. This is where providing accurate food allergen labelling and information is important, and why food businesses, local authorities and the Food Standards Agency are all working together to ensure consumers have clear and accurate information."

There is support available from Sedgemoor District Council here or by calling Sedgemoor Direct on 01278 435435.

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