The new regulations will also require cafes and restaurants to provide information on food allergens. This could be done in writing (for example, on a menu or a blackboard) or the information could be given verbally by a member of staff. Restaurant staff will no longer be able to say they don’t know, or aren’t sure whether the food they serve contains any of the major allergens.
Lynne Regent, CEO of the Anaphylaxis Campaign said: “We welcome these new EU regulations and we have been actively engaged in their implementation.These new rules will enable people living with severe food allergies to feel more confidence, reassured and safe whilst eating out.”
A group of concerned parents, including Sarah Reading’s father David Reading, founded the Anaphylaxis Campaign to raise awareness of severe allergies and to improve food labelling and NHS care of the condition.If a similar tragedy happened after these regulations come into force in December 2014, the department store that served this dish would be taken to court.
One of our members, Steven Obertelli, went into anaphylactic shock soon after tasting the chicken tikka masala he ordered from his regular curry house.Shortly after tasting the curry Mr Obertelli had problems breathing. He felt his throat closing and his lips swelled. He used his adrenaline auto-injector and was taken to hospital by his parents. He then suffered a second reaction when the medication wore off and stayed in hospital overnight.
Steven had told waiters at Westhoughton Indian Tandoori Takeaway that he was allergic to nuts — but chefs used a new ingredient in the curry, unaware that it was ground peanuts. Steven’s reaction, in May 2013, came 10 years after Mr Obertelli’s elder sister Kate, a nail technician, died after suffering a fatal reaction to peanuts.In July 2003, the 21-year-old died after eating an Indian takeaway. She had also told waiters she had an allergy.
Mr Obertelli, who has eaten curries from the Market Street takeaway since he was a youngster, said: “As a family our only previous dealings with a serious allergic reaction has been a fatality. It isn’t right that every time you go out for a meal you play Russian roulette with your life. Restaurants think you are being fussy when you say you have an allergy but it is not somebody being picky — it is something they really can’t eat.”
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