Research showing that people with food allergies are more confident in eating out since new rules changed the way food businesses have to provide allergen information to consumers, has been hailed by the Food Standards Agency as ‘strong evidence that good allergen information is good for business’.

The research on a representative sample of the 2m plus people in the UK with a food allergy was commissioned by the FSA to help it understand the impact of the allergen information requirement introduced in December 2014 by the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation.

‘The preferences of those with food allergies and/or intolerances when eating out (FS305013)’ found that after December 2014

  • 70% of food allergic and intolerant consumers felt more confident in asking staff for allergen information
  • 56% valued staff more as a source of information
  • 44% were more adventurous about eating out
  • 67% felt allergen information on food business’ websites is reliable
  • 63% said talking to the chef about their allergen needs can be relied on
  • 35% reported an improvement in allergen information on menu

Respondents also said that improved confidence in allergen information had led to them eating out more frequently and that they were more likely to return to, and recommend, venues with staff that were helpful and attentive about their allergen needs