Allergy and intolerance
This section gives information on the Food Standards Agency's work on food allergy and intolerance, including research, labelling, advice to caterers and guidance notes.
The Food Standards Agency's approach to food allergy and intolerance has three main aims:
- to fund research that will help increase our knowledge and understanding of food allergy and intolerance
- strengthen food labelling rules to help people who need to avoid certain ingredients
- help raise awareness of food allergy and intolerance among caterers
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Sometimes foods have to be withdrawn or recalled if there is a risk to consumers because the allergy labelling is missing or incorrect or if there is any other food allergy risk.
People with food allergies have to be extremely careful about what they eat. Food labelling is very important to these people because the consequences of eating the food they are allergic to could be very serious.
The Food Allergy and Intolerance Research Programme aims to investigate the causes and mechanisms underlying food allergy and intolerance. The programme is currently funding research under a number of key themes of work (as outlined below).
In August 2009, the Government revised its advice to consumers about eating peanuts during pregnancy, breastfeeding and the first few years of life, in relation to the risk of developing peanut allergy in childhood.