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Eating out with a food allergy in the UK: change in the eating out practices of consumers with food allergy following introduction of allergen information legislation

Eating out with a food allergy in the UK: change in the eating out practices of consumers with food allergy following introduction of allergen information legislation
Eating out with a food allergy in the UK: change in the eating out practices of consumers with food allergy following introduction of allergen information legislation
BackgroundStrict allergen avoidance is important in day-to-day management of food allergy and avoidance when eating outside the home can present particular difficulties. EU legislation (EU FIC) introduced in December 2014 aimed to improve food allergen information provision for customers by requiring retailers of non-prepacked foods to provide information related to the content of one or more of 14 specified food allergens within their foods.ObjectivesTo investigate the impact of EU FIC on the behaviours, experiences and attitudes of consumers with food allergy when eating out.MethodsAs part of longitudinal research, participants with food allergy from across the UK took part in either (A) pre and post legislation in-depth interviews, or (B) pre and post legislation surveys. In-depth interviews were carried out with 28 participants pre and post legislation and analysed using the framework approach. Self-report surveys were completed by 129 participants pre and post legislation, and responses were subject to quantitative analyses.ResultsImprovements in allergen information provision and raised awareness of food allergy in eating out venues were reported following introduction of EU FIC. Whilst participants favoured written allergen information, they expressed greater confidence in communicating with eating out staff and in trusting the allergen information that they provided. Improvements were judged to be gradual, sporadic or inconsistent in implementation.Conclusion & clinical relevanceFor many participants, the “ideal” eating out experience was one in which a range of information resources were available and where written allergen information was complemented by proactive and accommodating staff within an allergy-aware environment. Whilst the onus is on legislators and food providers to ensure that adequate allergen information is provided, clinicians play an important role in encouraging patients with food allergy to pursue their legal right to make allergen enquiries to avoid accidental allergen ingestion when eating out.
317–324
Began, Fiona M.
03244cab-d52a-4e80-8f5b-02d40dd051ba
Barnett, Julie
e075f8d9-cf31-4bfc-a6be-41988b5ce764
Payne, Ros
dd1aafc8-f10b-4dbe-ad08-06d9530bef8d
Gowland, M. Hazel
5821ba76-14f0-47b9-811f-6ad94d8d5f13
DunnGalvin, Audrey
cb3a7df5-feb4-414a-b528-459c52dd2a80
Lucas, Jane S.
5cb3546c-87b2-4e59-af48-402076e25313
Began, Fiona M.
03244cab-d52a-4e80-8f5b-02d40dd051ba
Barnett, Julie
e075f8d9-cf31-4bfc-a6be-41988b5ce764
Payne, Ros
dd1aafc8-f10b-4dbe-ad08-06d9530bef8d
Gowland, M. Hazel
5821ba76-14f0-47b9-811f-6ad94d8d5f13
DunnGalvin, Audrey
cb3a7df5-feb4-414a-b528-459c52dd2a80
Lucas, Jane S.
5cb3546c-87b2-4e59-af48-402076e25313

Began, Fiona M., Barnett, Julie, Payne, Ros, Gowland, M. Hazel, DunnGalvin, Audrey and Lucas, Jane S. (2018) Eating out with a food allergy in the UK: change in the eating out practices of consumers with food allergy following introduction of allergen information legislation. Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 48 (3), 317–324. (doi:10.1111/cea.13072).

Record type: Article

Abstract

BackgroundStrict allergen avoidance is important in day-to-day management of food allergy and avoidance when eating outside the home can present particular difficulties. EU legislation (EU FIC) introduced in December 2014 aimed to improve food allergen information provision for customers by requiring retailers of non-prepacked foods to provide information related to the content of one or more of 14 specified food allergens within their foods.ObjectivesTo investigate the impact of EU FIC on the behaviours, experiences and attitudes of consumers with food allergy when eating out.MethodsAs part of longitudinal research, participants with food allergy from across the UK took part in either (A) pre and post legislation in-depth interviews, or (B) pre and post legislation surveys. In-depth interviews were carried out with 28 participants pre and post legislation and analysed using the framework approach. Self-report surveys were completed by 129 participants pre and post legislation, and responses were subject to quantitative analyses.ResultsImprovements in allergen information provision and raised awareness of food allergy in eating out venues were reported following introduction of EU FIC. Whilst participants favoured written allergen information, they expressed greater confidence in communicating with eating out staff and in trusting the allergen information that they provided. Improvements were judged to be gradual, sporadic or inconsistent in implementation.Conclusion & clinical relevanceFor many participants, the “ideal” eating out experience was one in which a range of information resources were available and where written allergen information was complemented by proactive and accommodating staff within an allergy-aware environment. Whilst the onus is on legislators and food providers to ensure that adequate allergen information is provided, clinicians play an important role in encouraging patients with food allergy to pursue their legal right to make allergen enquiries to avoid accidental allergen ingestion when eating out.

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Accepted/In Press date: 22 November 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 15 January 2018
Published date: March 2018

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Local EPrints ID: 416058
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/416058
PURE UUID: ee912517-6e66-4906-8759-ab312bad243e

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Date deposited: 01 Dec 2017 17:30
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 05:45

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