Over 60 local food businesses were represented at a recent allergen seminar held at Lagan Valley Island, headquarters for Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.

Council officers educated 180 owners and employees on how they can control the 14 main allergens within the foods they produce. This was an important seminar for all parties as food allergies and intolerances can be life changing. 

Controlling allergens in a food business can be a life and death matter and may result in tragic circumstances as was the case for Owen Carey. Owen suffered a fatal allergic reaction having eaten a burger marinated in buttermilk after making staff aware of his milk allergy. 

Councillor Caleb McCready, Environmental & Sustainability Committee Chairman said: “It is great to see our local food businesses take the complex matter of allergens seriously. In 2022, 47% of hospital admissions in the UK were due to food allergies attributed to restaurants, takeaway meals, and other types of catering.

“With around 2 million people in the UK living with a food allergy and hospital admissions doubling in the last 20 years, seminars like this are important. By working with our Environmental Health Officers local businesses can safeguard the health and wellbeing of our communities.”

The council will be holding a second seminar on Tuesday 5th March for food businesses based in the Lisburn and Castlereagh area.                                                                                                                                                           

If you would like to find out more about the legal requirements around controlling allergens in your food business reserve a place for the 5 March seminar. You can secure your spot by phoning us on 028 9244 7397 or emailing  ehealth@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk