Popular Allergen Awareness Resource accessible in more languages
Polish, Bulgarian, Romanian and Hungarian versions now available
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) in partnership with Trading Standards Wales and the Greater Gwent Food Group has announced several new translations of the popular “Allergen Awareness Resources”.
Having launched in September 2021, the resources provide vital information to those invested in the food and hospitality sectors, about the dangers of food allergens and their potentially devastating consequences. The resource provides regulatory guidance on allergen ingredient management, food information and labelling rules.
The resources were originally published in English, Welsh, Bengali, Cantonese, Kurdish, Mandarin, Punjabi, Turkish and Urdu to take account of the diversity of those working in the UK's hospitality sector. Now they have been translated into four additional languages, which are Bulgarian, Hungarian, Romanian, and Polish.
Consumer protection experts hope that the resources will increase knowledge and awareness of food allergens for those working in the hospitality sector and ultimately help to prevent future tragic incidents.
Avoidable deaths from hypersensitive reactions to food sadly do occur. Recently it was reported that Tania Kaur Khasriya, a student from Ealing, lost consciousness for four years and died after eating a meal containing peanuts at a restaurant in Southall.
The original launch of the resources came just before “Natasha's Law” came into force. Natasha’s Law is named after the late Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who suffered a fatal allergic reaction at just 15 years of age after eating an 'artichoke, olive and tapenade' baguette purchased at Pret a Manger. Natasha had a sesame allergy and wasn’t aware that sesame seeds had been prebaked into the bread.
John Herriman, Chief Executive for CTSI, said: "Businesses must understand the importance of allergens and accurate food labelling and take the proper steps to avoid cross contamination. There is a wonderful diversity in the UK food industry and this calls on us to make materials accessible to every community, and I am proud that eastern European languages have been added to the already extensive list of materials.
"Businesses must comply with the law because it can literally mean the difference between life and death. By expanding these materials into more languages, we can reach an ever-widening group of businesses, hopefully lowering the risks for consumers."
Nathan Barnhouse, Director of Food Standards Agency in Wales said: “I am delighted that the Food Standards Agency in Wales has contributed funds to enhance this important allergen resource. The control of allergen information is a vital part of ensuring the food we eat is safe. Providing this multilingual resource will enable food businesses to better understand their responsibilities and the addition of four languages will further reduce the likelihood of language being a barrier to gaining that awareness. I would like to congratulate the Greater Gwent Food Group on the further development of such a valuable training tool.”
Dilys Harris, Senior Trading Standards Officer, Caerphilly County Borough Council, on behalf of the Greater Gwent Food Group said: “We are thrilled to introduce four new languages to our multi-lingual allergen resource, made possible with support from the Food Standards Agency and Trading Standards Wales. The resource is accessible to local authorities across Wales, England and Northern Ireland and is suitable for food businesses, food law enforcement officers and educational establishments.
Consumers with a food hypersensitivity depend on businesses to exercise effective allergen management control and provide clear accurate information to enable them to make safe food choices. It is hoped this learning resource will help businesses to be allergy aware, assist them in complying with the law and in doing so help prevent avoidable deaths”.
Judith Parry Chair of Trading Standards Wales said: “We are pleased to further promote this multilingual allergen resource which now incorporates 13 languages. It provides engaging, accessible learning material to assist the diverse range of food businesses that operate throughout Wales, comply with allergen regulatory requirements”.
The Chair of the CTSI Race & Equalities Working Group, Tendy Lindsay, who is also a respected member of the former Food Standards Agency's Food Fraud Advisory Unit, said: "I’m pleased to see that four additional languages have been added to the Greater Gwent Food Group Food Allergen Resources, this is an excellent resource for consumer protection professionals, businesses and consumers. By making these crucial food allergen resources available in so many different languages it’s ensuring that the information will be understood throughout the UK's diverse communities. Future awareness campaigns should use it as an example for engaging with the many different communities we serve."
The resources are freely available and hosted on the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) website
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Supporting videos can be found on the CTSI YouTube channel.
More information about the Food Standards Agency can be found on their website: www.food.gov.uk
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is a national not for profit established in 1881 which supports the UK’s trading standards profession, and works to protect consumers and safeguard honest businesses. CTSI's members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services at local authorities and in businesses. www.tradingstandards.uk