The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is testing a reporting tool which will allow you to anonymously report a reaction or a ‘near miss’ that you, or someone you care for, has had due to a food allergy, intolerance or coeliac disease.
A near miss is an instance where food or drink containing an ingredient that you are sensitive to was almost consumed – but you realised the ingredient was present before consuming it (please see below examples of ‘near-miss’ scenarios).
We would encourage you to contribute to this tool which will help to improve the FSA’s understanding of how consumers experience food allergic, intolerance and coeliac reactions. The data collected will help inform future development work in this area.
We would advise that you prioritise medical care first, and then report reactions or near misses as soon as possible after the incident takes place. However, we understand there may be a delay due to recovery from the reaction.
Report Food Incidents to Local Authority
The FSA will not use this tool to take enforcement action against any food business or person.
If you would like to report a reaction or near miss for further investigation, you can do so by contacting the food safety team of the responsible local authority.
Examples of ‘near miss’ scenarios
- You have a pecan allergy. You are in a café and order a slice of cake. You ask the server if the cake contains pecans but they inform you that it is nut free, so you order a slice. However, when the cake arrives, you can clearly see that there are pecans sprinkled on the top so you send it back. This could have resulted in a reaction so is regarded as a ‘near miss.’
- Your daughter has an allergy to dried fruits. You are both out at a restaurant and she orders curry but when the curry is served she realises there are raisins in it so she sends it back to the kitchen. This could have resulted in a reaction so is regarded as a ‘near miss.’
When not to use the reporting tool
- You have an intolerance to cheese, you know you shouldn’t eat it, but you are out for dinner with friends and you really want to eat pizza. You eat the pizza despite your intolerance and get sick the next day. This is not a near miss as you know that you shouldn’t eat pizza but made the decision to do so anyway.
This is a testing tool which will be live from 1 November 2021 to 31 January 2022. During the test you will not be asked to give any information that would identify you or the food business where the reaction, or near miss, took place. Any data collected by the pilot will be deleted on completion of the project.