On 15 June 2022, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) held a Board meeting, which discussed updates on the work carried out as part of the FSA’s Food Hypersensitivity (FHS) Programme and the proposed approach for its next phase of work [Food Hypersensitivity (FHS) - Update on Workstreams and Recommended Next Steps]. The three priorities for phase two of FSA's FHS Programme are as follows:
- improving Precautionary Allergen Labelling (PAL) through a more standardised approach, more support for food businesses to apply PAL when necessary and improving allergen cross-contact risk management.
- a new workstream to improve allergen management and information to consumers in the 'non-prepacked' sector (i.e. food prepared on request in businesses such as restaurants and takeaways).
- continued focus on improving our understanding of the causes and impacts of FHS reactions.
Also in June, the FSA published its Precautionary Allergen Labelling (PAL) research package which summarised the findings of its recent PAL consultation (to which the FDF responded to) and its research carried out with businesses, consumers and local authorities which informed the recommendations made to the FSA Board.
Then recently, as underpining research, the FSA publihsed its Provision of Allergen Information in the Out of Home Food Sector Report. This research was commissioned to understand the allergen information needs and preferences of people with Food Hypersensitivity (FHS) when eating in the non-prepacked food sector (also referred to the ‘out of home’ sector). One of its key findings was that both FBOs and people with FHS feel the consumer knows best about their FHS and the allergens they need to avoid, with both groups wanting further standardisation of allergen information.
FDF member companies have full access to the ASG homepage, ASG documents, and FDF Allergens Toolkit.