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Council takes action on allergens!

Council takes action on allergens!

June 19, 2019

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council (LCCC) hosted an Allergen Awareness Seminar at Lagan Valley Island recently to help local businesses get on top of their requirements concerning allergens in our food industry.

Nearly 40 businesses from the Lisburn and Castlereagh area who provide allergen free meals attended the event, including restaurants, cafés and childcare providers. The seminar explained the issues surrounding the 14 major allergens, how to control allergens in a food business and how to provide allergen information to customers.

  

The Vice Chairman of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Environmental Services Committee, Alderman Tim Morrow, said: “I’m delighted to see that so many businesses want to learn more about food safety and how to effectively prioritise the welfare of their customers. This focus on the individual and the commitment to service delivery is what sets Lisburn and Castlereagh apart from other regions and will go a long way in the transformation of our area over the next 10 years as we seek to create new ways of living and working.

“As a council, one of our main objectives is that everyone benefits from a thriving economy. We’re actively working to support local businesses with the right skills and resources to improve their performance and grow." 

He continued: “Controlling allergens in a food business can be a life and death matter. With such significant media attention recently regarding the case of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who suffered a fatal allergic reaction after eating a sandwich purchased from Pret-a-manger, we need to work together and support our local food industry through this complex area. In doing so, we will safeguard the health and wellbeing of our communities, while strengthening Lisburn and Castlereagh’s position as an innovative location to live, work, visit and invest.”

The event saw guest speaker, Leigh George from Allergy UK, explain the causes and consequences of serving allergen contaminated food to customers. Leigh commented: “Our ultimate ambition is to ensure all caterers are allergy aware and that the future is brighter for those living with allergies when dining out or ordering takeaways.

“In an Allergy UK Consumer Eating Habits Survey, carried out in March 2016, 75% of those living with allergies stated that they had decided to not eat out due to their lack of trust in allergy knowledge by the restaurant/takeaway outlet staff members. It is for this reason that we’ve developed our Allergy Aware Scheme, which is a recognition scheme for catering outlets where staff have been trained in food allergen management and where robust processes are in place to provide a safe meal for anyone affected by food allergy”.

Maeve Carey, Environmental Health Officer at LCCC also spoke about the legal aspects of allergen control, while Robert Lamont, Environmental Health Manager at LCCC, explained potential enforcement for non-compliance of allergen legislation.

If you would like to find out more about the legal requirements around controlling allergens in your food business, or for more information on food safety, call 028 9250 9250, email env.health@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk or go to www.lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk/allergens