Eating out has been an age old dilemma for anyone suffering any kind or food intolerance or allergy.
The awkwardness of asking for allergen information or an ingredient list is an unwelcome addition when trying to enjoy a relaxing meal.
This has lead to many sufferers having negative dining experiences, which have resulted in them being put off eating out, and feeling stigmatised by their condition.
However this all changed last December when the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation was published and changes were made to the provision of allergen information.
Restaurants and bars that serve food will now need to provide allergen information on their current menus or in a separate document.
Food businesses now need to make it clear how you can access the allergen information before you choose your meal. So, if the material is on their website, this must be made clear to you before you've made your order.
This has come as a God send to most sufferers of coeliac disease. Miriam has been diagnosed with gluten intolerance for over 5 years and she welcomes the regulations.
> *“When you ask waiters or shop assistants whether something has gluten in, they don’t treat you as seriously as they should. They don’t
> know that a few crumbs of gluten can cause a lot of distress for a
> person with coeliac disease. So these new regulations will allow
> people to be more educated on what is actually in their products
> and give us coeliacs a lot more peace of mind and enjoyment from
> eating out”*
Foods manufactured after the 13th of December last year will now have to list all ingredients used, and emphasise allergens, whether this be in a separate column or using **bold** lettering around words such as wheat, rye and barley. This all must be clearly labelled on all packaging as well.
These new regulations will make it easier for sufferers of food intolerance and allergies to enjoy a stress free meal, as they know what's going in and what's going out.