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Food hypersensitivity and allergy

Review of allergen analytical testing methodologies: measurement parameters and sensitivity of methods

Food allergies affects between 1-2% of the UK population, with some allergens responsible for hospital admissions with anaphylaxis. Food businesses have a legal responsibility to provide food that is safe, which means declaring allergens present as ingredients and warning consumers about their potential unintended presence due to cross-contact. A system needs to be implemented for testing allergens in foods, responding to incidents, and manage risks to protect consumers. This report explores the current state of the art of allergen testing methodologies and the remaining challenges.

SME allergen provision in the non-prepacked sector

The focus of this research was to understand in more detail how micro and small businesses (SMEs) in the non-prepacked sector provide allergen information to consumers, and the impact of some of the potential changes to the provision of allergen information requirements for SMEs across a variety of service models.

Food Sensitive Study: Wave Two Survey

The aim of this survey was to characterise the management of FH of individuals living in the UK and evaluate the resultant impact on their Quality of life.

Precautionary Allergen Labelling Report and Non-Gluten Containing Ingredients Labelling Report

This research explored experiences, interpretations, and views of PAL (Precautionary Allergen Labelling) with businesses and consumers with food hypersensitivities in order to understand and improve how it is applied in future. Qualitative research was also conducted with coeliac consumers on experiences, interpretations, and views of NCGI (non-gluten containing ingredients) notices. This research was carried out in tandem with wider research on PAL notices, but has been reported separately given the different information provided by PAL and NCGI.

Risk analysis and Precautionary Allergen Labelling research report

This research aimed to understand the extent to which allergen risk analysis is conducted by micro, small, and medium sized (SME) food businesses, and whether this informs the use of Precautionary Allergen Labelling (PAL). It had a specific focus on whether risk assessment and the identification critical points of allergen cross-contact were undertaken.

Food Sensitive Study (Quality of Life) Wave 1 Report

This report presents the findings from a survey commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and delivered by Aston University to explore how people living with food hypersensitivities (FHS) such as allergy, intolerance and coeliac disease, are affected by these conditions in their daily lives.

FSA Consumer segmentation

Consumer segmentation is a way of grouping consumers based on common characteristics. It is used by organisations, including the FSA, to better understand different groups and how to reach them.

The food industry’s provision of allergen information to consumers

This study explored the current provision of information on allergenic ingredients by food businesses to consumers for non-prepacked food, and how this has changed since legislative changes came into force in 2014. The study also provides a new baseline on information provided for food prepacked for direct sale (PPDS).