Consumers win right to allergy info in restaurants and takeaways

Date published: 06 July 2011

Euro MPs have voted through a legal requirement for allergy information to be provided about all foods on sale in restaurants, canteens and takeaways.

Labelling already exists for pre-packed foods on supermarket shelves but allergy sufferers are at risk when eating out or getting food to take away.

Labour Euro MP and Consumer Champion, Arlene McCarthy said: "There is no information more important to consumers than that about the food they eat, and no food information is more important than that on allergies, which can make the difference between life and death.

"We have had laws requiring allergy information on packaged goods for many years, but that didn't prevent fatal risks from restaurants and takeaways. This new law will apply across the European Union and so protect allergy sufferers when travelling to other EU countries."

The law requires all EU countries to implement allergy labelling by the end of 2014, while leaving it up to each country to decide how best to ensure the information is provided effectively.

Ms McCarthy, added: "The deadline for implementing this law is the end of 2014 but I am demanding the UK government acts now to end the risk of further unnecessary and preventable deaths.

“The law must also be introduced clearly in the UK to require allergy information to be displayed on menus, not with the onus on allergy sufferers to ask for information."

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