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Comparing the eating out experiences of consumers seeking to avoid different food allergens

Comparing the eating out experiences of consumers seeking to avoid different food allergens
Comparing the eating out experiences of consumers seeking to avoid different food allergens

Background: Eating outside the home is challenging for consumers with food allergy (FA) and intolerance (FI) and lack of allergen information provision in eating out venues can lead to unnecessary restrictions. Following European legislation (2014) designed to improve allergen information provision, little is known about differences in information provision experienced by consumers seeking to avoid particular allergens, or how this impacts on their eating out experiences. This study compared the information provision that consumers with FA/FI to different allergens experience when eating out. Methods: Using mixed methods, participants were recruited from across the UK and took part in self-report surveys or in-depth interviews. Surveys were completed by 232 participants avoiding either gluten (n = 66), nuts (peanuts/tree nuts) (n = 94), or milk (n = 74), and responses were subject to quantitative analyses. Interviews were carried out with 49 participants avoiding either gluten (n = 13), nuts (n = 14), milk (n = 13) or a combination of these allergens (n = 9), and analysed using the framework approach. Results: Although general improvements in information provision following the legislation were reported, variations in provision between allergen groups led participants seeking to avoid milk to conclude that their dietary needs were less well-understood and seen as less important. These perceptions were reflected in a reluctance to involve eating out venue staff in deliberations about the potential for milk-free meal options. Conclusions: The provision of visual indicators of the presence of milk and of staff trained in allergen-awareness would improve the eating out experiences of consumers seeking to avoid milk. Medical professions can play a key role in encouraging these patients to pursue their right to make enquiries about allergens in order to avoid accidental milk ingestion when eating out.

Allergen avoidance, Eating out, Food allergy, Food intolerance, Gluten, Information provision, Milk, Peanuts / tree nuts
1471-2458
1-12
Barnett, Julie
e075f8d9-cf31-4bfc-a6be-41988b5ce764
Begen, Fiona M.
8804fdba-1b91-4be0-96dc-6559eee5374b
Gowland, M. Hazel
72a62d3c-fe49-4b92-9776-ff235a7c5db3
Lucas, Jane S.
5cb3546c-87b2-4e59-af48-402076e25313
Barnett, Julie
e075f8d9-cf31-4bfc-a6be-41988b5ce764
Begen, Fiona M.
8804fdba-1b91-4be0-96dc-6559eee5374b
Gowland, M. Hazel
72a62d3c-fe49-4b92-9776-ff235a7c5db3
Lucas, Jane S.
5cb3546c-87b2-4e59-af48-402076e25313

Barnett, Julie, Begen, Fiona M., Gowland, M. Hazel and Lucas, Jane S. (2018) Comparing the eating out experiences of consumers seeking to avoid different food allergens. BMC Public Health, 18 (1), 1-12, [1263]. (doi:10.1186/s12889-018-6117-y).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: Eating outside the home is challenging for consumers with food allergy (FA) and intolerance (FI) and lack of allergen information provision in eating out venues can lead to unnecessary restrictions. Following European legislation (2014) designed to improve allergen information provision, little is known about differences in information provision experienced by consumers seeking to avoid particular allergens, or how this impacts on their eating out experiences. This study compared the information provision that consumers with FA/FI to different allergens experience when eating out. Methods: Using mixed methods, participants were recruited from across the UK and took part in self-report surveys or in-depth interviews. Surveys were completed by 232 participants avoiding either gluten (n = 66), nuts (peanuts/tree nuts) (n = 94), or milk (n = 74), and responses were subject to quantitative analyses. Interviews were carried out with 49 participants avoiding either gluten (n = 13), nuts (n = 14), milk (n = 13) or a combination of these allergens (n = 9), and analysed using the framework approach. Results: Although general improvements in information provision following the legislation were reported, variations in provision between allergen groups led participants seeking to avoid milk to conclude that their dietary needs were less well-understood and seen as less important. These perceptions were reflected in a reluctance to involve eating out venue staff in deliberations about the potential for milk-free meal options. Conclusions: The provision of visual indicators of the presence of milk and of staff trained in allergen-awareness would improve the eating out experiences of consumers seeking to avoid milk. Medical professions can play a key role in encouraging these patients to pursue their right to make enquiries about allergens in order to avoid accidental milk ingestion when eating out.

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Barnett 2018 Article Comparing The Eating Out Experience - Version of Record
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 12 October 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 15 November 2018
Published date: 15 November 2018
Keywords: Allergen avoidance, Eating out, Food allergy, Food intolerance, Gluten, Information provision, Milk, Peanuts / tree nuts

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 426654
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/426654
ISSN: 1471-2458
PURE UUID: 8b1354ef-f44e-4283-bc78-08b3672df8c6

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Dec 2018 18:16
Last modified: 16 Dec 2019 17:50

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