Diners with food allergies and intolerances are more confident about eating out since allergen information rules were introduced in 2014, according to a new study by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
The research found that, post legislation, 70% of food allergic and intolerant consumers feel more confident in asking staff for allergen information with 44% more ‘adventurous’ about eating out.
Over half (56%) of food allergic and intolerant consumers value staff more as a source of information, while two thirds say talking to the chef about their allergen needs can be relied on.
A further two-thirds (67%) feel allergen information on food business websites is dependable and 35% report an improvement in allergen information in the menu.
This improved confidence is proving good for business, encouraging customers to eating out more frequently and return to and recommend venues with staff that were helpful and attentive about their allergen needs.
Heather Hancock, chairman of the Food Standards Agency, said: “This new research shows that many food businesses have a good understanding of the allergen information rules, with the result that consumers trust them and feel confident that they'll be safe when eating out.”
Over 2 million people in the UK have a food allergy and an estimated 600,000 have coeliac disease.