Caterers being held to account in allergic reaction cases.


There have been depressingly few cases brought to court up till now by consumers who have suffered an allergic reaction while eating out when they have specifically requested a meal free of their particular allergen, but have none the less been given a meal which contains it. However, things could be about to change.

Up till now food allergy cases have usually relied on Article 14 (1) of the Food Safety Act 1990 – that the food sold was not of the substance demanded by the purchaser – but officers are now also using EC Regulation 178/2002 (General Food Law Regulation) which prohibits unsafe food from being placed on the market. (When deciding whether food is unsafe, consideration needs to be given to the information provided to the consumer and to the particular health sensitivities of a specific category of consumers.)

The Anaphylaxis Campaign and Allergy Action have noted several such cases in a release issued by Hazel Gowland, Food Adviser to the Campaign. Caterers should take note...

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First Published in 2010