Over two thirds of businesses violated food information regulations
An undercover investigation by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has found just over two thirds of takeaways appear to be breaking the law. The investigation, which included 10 types of takeaways, found chicken shops to be the worst offenders.
Of the chicken shops visited, four in five couldn’t supply legally required allergen information when asked, and none had records of allergens used as ingredients in meals or could signpost customers to allergen information.
Legislation introduced in 2014 requires takeaways to be able to declare the presence of any of the 14 major allergens used as ingredients in their food, provide notices in a clear visible format and have a system in place to ensure information can be checked, is accurate and consistent.
Other findings included:
In response RSPH is calling for online food delivery sites, including Hungry House, Just Eat and Deliveroo, to make sure takeaways are providing allergen information before signing them up in order to help protect the 2 million food allergic consumers in the UK. Through rejecting noncompliant businesses this would both inform outlets of their legal requirements and provide an incentive for them to become compliant.
Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive, RSPH: “Our research has uncovered alarming rates of apparent non-compliance. We appreciate that complying with this new legislation takes time but we are concerned that in the meantime customer’s health may be being put at risk. Every year in the UK 5000 of the 2 million people living with food allergies need hospital treatment for severe allergic reactions and on average 10 die from food-induced anaphylaxis. Increased education, support and ultimately enforcement are needed to ensure food handlers understand the dangers of non compliance and stop putting the public’s health at risk.”
As part of its new campaign RSPH is also calling for: