Watchdog starts alert service for food allergy sufferers

8 April 2019, 07:12 | Updated: 8 April 2019, 07:14

Food Standards Scotland

Scotland's food watchdog has launched a new alert service for food allergy sufferers.

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) wants people to sign up to the free scheme which will send out real time text alerts or an email if an issue is found with missing or incorrect food labelling regarding allergens.

Users will be given the option to receive specific alerts about issues involving any of the 14 major allergens which are required to be mentioned on packaging when used as ingredients in food or drink in the UK, including peanuts, sesame seeds, gluten, milk, eggs and fish.

FSS said there were 86 allergy alerts for food and drink products in Scotland in the year from April 1, 2018.

Head of the FSS Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit, Ron McNaughton, said: "Food allergies can significantly impact people's quality of life, and Food Standards Scotland is here to make sure people with food allergies or intolerances have the information they need to make informed choices.

"We work closely with local authorities, food businesses, and the Food Standards Agency to make people in Scotland aware of any allergen information issues and we'd urge anyone with a food allergy in Scotland to sign up for tailored food allergy alerts by text or email.

"People can access the new service from the homepage."

Nurse Advisor at Allergy UK, Holly Shaw, said: "Making safe choices is an important part of day-to-day living with a food allergy.

"Alert services like this are a great way of communicating information that enable the food allergic person to stay informed and safe."