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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Susan Miles, Suzanne Bolhaar, Eloina González‐Mancebo, Christine Hafner, Karin Hoffmann‐Sommergruber, Montserrat Fernández‐Rivas and André Knulst

The aim was to look at food‐allergic consumers’ preferences concerning the development of low‐allergen food.

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim was to look at food‐allergic consumers’ preferences concerning the development of low‐allergen food.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was designed to measure attitudes towards low‐allergen food. Data were collected from 20 food‐allergic consumers in Austria, Spain and The Netherlands respectively between April and May 2002 using interviewer‐assisted questionnaire methodology.

Findings

The results suggested that food‐allergic consumers are interested in having low‐allergen food available, with 70‐95 per cent wanting it produced. A total of 89 per cent identified a number of benefits to themselves, including being able to resume eating the food to which they were allergic, and being able to eat all food with no worries, no symptoms and no need to check labels. Fewer disadvantages were mentioned, with 53 per cent identifying no disadvantages. Factors that would encourage or discourage purchase of low‐allergen food were also identified with price, quality (particularly taste) and safety being important. Whilst acceptance of low‐allergen food produced using genetic modification was reasonably high (55‐85 per cent), in general participants would prefer this food to be produced through conventional means.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is required with a larger sample, where cross‐cultural statistical comparisons can be made. Originality/value This study provides new information about acceptability of low‐allergen food which is of use for the food industry when developing such food, benefiting both the industry and food‐allergic consumers.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 September 2008

Denise Worsfold

The purpose of this paper is to review the progress of the Allergen Strategy for Wales intended to raise food allergen awareness of caterers in the principality.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the progress of the Allergen Strategy for Wales intended to raise food allergen awareness of caterers in the principality.

Design/methodology/approach

The Allergen Action Plan survey programme was examined to determine the progress made to date. Data were collected by means of a literature search and questionnaire surveys of officers and trainers.

Findings

The surveys suggest that food enforcement officers are well informed about some allergen management issues but other aspects such as cross contamination and staff training are less likely to be included on routine inspections. Hygiene trainers appear to be adequately informed to cover key messages on elementary hygiene courses for caterers. Allergen training for officers and materials for use by businesses have been produced which will help advance the Allergen Strategy.

Research limitations/implications

The surveys that are reported involved limited numbers of respondents.

Practical implications

Although food enforcement officers are identified in the Allergen Strategy as those charged with raising the profile of allergens and allergy awareness, there is limited time for them to cover food allergen management issues during routine inspections. Hygiene trainers and the use of training materials from the Food Standards Agency are valuable resources that can help to advance the Allergen Strategy.

Originality/value

Although the Allergen Strategy is in the public domain there is limited published work on its progress to date and the preparedness of those charged with raising allergen management issues with a broad range of caterers.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 January 2022

Morad Guennouni, Brahim Admou, Noureddine El Khoudri, Aicha Bourrouhouat, Safaa Machraoui, El Khansaa Jasny and Abderraouf Hilali

Allergenic substances cause food allergy, which represents a major health issue in most countries. This underlines the importance of considering the products' labeling as…

Abstract

Purpose

Allergenic substances cause food allergy, which represents a major health issue in most countries. This underlines the importance of considering the products' labeling as well as applying related regulatory practices. The objective of this study was to assess the labeling practices of allergens in food products in Morocco.

Design/methodology/approach

This cross-sectional survey was conducted on 156 food products collected from four supermarkets in a Moroccan megacity. The data related to the allergen substances (allergen declared, emphasis characters, precautionary allergen labeling) were collected from labels of food products.

Findings

The number of foods included in this research was 156, of which 7 (4.5%) did not mention the allergy alert. The analysis of the allergy alert in the others sample (149) showed 266 nonconformities, noticed in 112 (71.8%) products. The labeling emphasis characters were observed in 33.3% of products, and only 13.5% mentioned “contains allergen” as a mandatory statement to declare the presence of allergens. Allergic alerts found in places concealed, removable by the opening of the seal or difficult to see were observed in 28.9%. The use of a precautionary allergen labeling statement was noticed in 40.4% of products.

Originality/value

Moroccan regulations on food allergens are demanding like those of the European Union and more demanding than those of most African countries. However, the application of this regulation remains unsatisfactory and 266 non-conformities were found in 112 (71.8%) products. The absence of emphasis characters and the declaration in inappropriate places represent the most observed non-conformities. Therefore, Moroccan manufacturers must strictly adhere to regulations to avoid exposure of predisposed consumers to potentially threatening allergenic substances.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 June 2019

Daniela Manila Manila Bianchi, Silvia Gallina, Clara Ippolito, Sandra Fragassi, Daniele Nucera and Lucia Decastelli

Sesame can cause food allergy and according to European legislation, its presence in food must be declared on the label. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the…

Abstract

Purpose

Sesame can cause food allergy and according to European legislation, its presence in food must be declared on the label. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the presence of sesame in food products carrying no mention of sesame on the ingredient label and in food products carrying the voluntary labelling statement “may contain traces of sesame”.

Design/methodology/approach

Packaged bakery and non-bakery food items were collected at retail. Sample size was calculated according to estimated prevalence of 2 per cent and precision of 5 per cent: in total 32 samples of packaged bakery and non-bakery food were collected for each food category. The RIDASCREEN®FAST Sesame test (R-Biopharm AG, Darmstadt, Germany) was used for the analysis: its limit of detection was fixed in the laboratory at 0.5 ppm.

Findings

Of the 32 food samples that did not mention sesame seed on the ingredient label, one (3.1 per cent) breadsticks sample tested positive at a concentration (326 ppm). Of the 32 food samples that carried the precautionary label statement “may contain traces of sesame”, one (3.1 per cent) breadcrumbs sample tested positive (305 ppm). Comparison between the allergen concentration and the published eliciting dose (ED5) for sesame proteins (1 mg) was performed. The calculated exposure was more than 2 the ED05 reported in the literature.

Originality/value

To date, few studies investigating compliance with food-allergen labelling requirements are available. This survey provides data for preliminary risk assessment for sesame allergenic consumers.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 121 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 December 2016

Jinkyung Choi and Ahyeon Choi

Allergy information on food labels is crucial to individuals with food allergies. The purpose of this paper is to investigate what information consumers are concerned with…

Abstract

Purpose

Allergy information on food labels is crucial to individuals with food allergies. The purpose of this paper is to investigate what information consumers are concerned with as well as improving the allergen information on the product labels.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was developed based on previous studies and was administered to citizens in South Korea. Descriptive analysis and analysis of variance were conducted to find significances of important information when purchasing and improvement needed on the labels in relation to allergy knowledge.

Findings

The results indicated that respondents were concerned about allergy information and general information regarding the basic value of food and also food safety. In addition, this study found knowledge of food allergies is not related to consideration of allergy information on labels.

Originality/value

This study measured consumers’ perceptions of the current food allergy labeling when purchasing food products. This study concluded improvements were needed in order to deliver allergy information in a clear manner. Such as font size, shape, and color should be implemented together in order to communicate effectively with allergic consumers.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 118 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 July 2018

Bruce McAdams, Allison Deng and Tanya MacLaurin

Restaurants are unique and challenging environments for accommodating food allergies. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate food allergy knowledge, attitudes and…

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Abstract

Purpose

Restaurants are unique and challenging environments for accommodating food allergies. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate food allergy knowledge, attitudes and resources among restaurant employees, and identify differences based on restaurant mode of operation.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 209 food-service workers were surveyed in full-service restaurants across Southern Ontario, Canada. A paper-based questionnaire was used to evaluate participants’ food allergy knowledge, attitudes toward handling food allergy requests and emergencies, and the availability of food allergen resources at the restaurant.

Findings

Most participants were knowledgeable about food allergies, and valued being able to provide safe meals. However, there was a general lack of access to important food allergy risk management resources and training. Food allergy attitudes were significantly different between restaurant modes of operation. Also, food allergy training and resources were positively correlated with employee attitudes toward food allergies.

Practical implications

The results of this study show that engaging employees in food allergy training can contribute to greater levels in employee awareness and confidence in protecting health and safety of restaurant patrons with food allergies. Restaurants that demonstrate a strong preparedness toward handling food allergy requests can deliver a better customer experience and increase customer loyalty.

Originality/value

The findings of this study underscore the need for the restaurant industry, policy makers and food safety educators to work together to develop training programs and relevant resources to support and facilitate food allergy risk management in restaurants.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 120 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Yee Ming Lee and Erol Sozen

The purpose of this paper is to compare restaurant managerial staff and employees’ attitudes toward food allergies, their food allergy knowledge and food allergy-related training.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare restaurant managerial staff and employees’ attitudes toward food allergies, their food allergy knowledge and food allergy-related training.

Design/methodology/approach

An online questionnaire was administered through a market research company (Qualtrics® Inc.). A total of 110 managerial staff and 229 restaurant employees completed this questionnaire.

Findings

Most restaurants were willing to modify recipes for customers with food allergies. Respondents felt that the customers should be responsible for expressing their food allergy needs. Both groups were able to identify certain symptoms of allergic reactions to food but lacked knowledge of allergen-handling practices. The managerial staff and employees had knowledge differences about how to respond to an allergic reaction (p<0.001) and how to identify peanut derivatives on food labels (p<0.000). In total, 70 percent of the managerial staff indicated that they provided employee food allergy training but only 40 percent of employees indicated receiving such training. The managerial staff identified a lack of employee commitment and interest as barriers to training provision. However, the employees identified different reasons (i.e. it is unnecessary and not beneficial).

Practical implications

Restaurants should have policies in place to accommodative customers with food allergies and make sure food allergy-related information is communicated to their customers via different outlets (i.e. restaurants’ websites and printed menus). Food allergy training should be designed based on the areas that need improvement, as knowledge may differ based on the position in the restaurants (managerial staff vs employees) and types of the restaurants (quick service vs casual dining). Pragmatic strategies need to be identified to better encourage and motivate restaurant employees to attend a food allergy training.

Originality/value

Understanding the similarities and differences in attitudes, knowledge and training on food allergies between restaurant managerial staff and employees would help restaurants to plan and implement policies and training that best fit both managerial staff and employees.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 120 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2001

Michèle Sadler and Sue Gatenby

Two sets of voluntary labelling guidelines for the food industry have been developed under the auspices of IGD. Voluntary Labelling Guidelines for Food Allergens and Gluten

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Abstract

Two sets of voluntary labelling guidelines for the food industry have been developed under the auspices of IGD. Voluntary Labelling Guidelines for Food Allergens and Gluten are aimed at manufacturers and retailers of packaged foods. The guidelines aim to ensure a consistent approach to labelling, across industry, such that the use of allergenic foods as ingredients in food products will always be labelled in the ingredients list, and advisory labelling for the adventitious presence of traces of peanuts and tree nuts will be based on an assessed risk of the manufacturing processes and ingredients supply. Voluntary Guidelines for the Provision of Food Safety Advice on Product Labels aim to supplement statutory requirements and to reinforce food safety messages to assist consumers in their domestic environment.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 September 2022

Yee Ming Lee, Erol Sozen and Han Wen

This study explored how food allergies have affected food-related behaviors and quality of life of college students with food allergies and identified factors influencing…

Abstract

Purpose

This study explored how food allergies have affected food-related behaviors and quality of life of college students with food allergies and identified factors influencing food choice decisions among this group of individuals.

Design/methodology/approach

One-on-one interviews were conducted with 26 college students with self-reported or clinically diagnosed food allergies, recruited from two universities located in the southern region of the United States. The participants were asked a series of questions based on a semi-structured discussion guide. Each interview lasted about 30 min; all interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. The transcriptions were coded independently by three researchers, and themes were identified.

Findings

Food allergies affected the participants' food-related behaviors, including eating, food preparation and shopping, as well as some aspects of their quality of life. Individual factors, such as mood, other diseases, cultural background and sensory properties, also influenced food choices. Friends and families were the two most important social influencers of food choices. Regarding physical environmental factors, cost, convenience, value and variety were considered important in selecting food. However, the participants' food choices were less influenced by food advertisements and social media. Additionally, experiences and complex cuisines were also key factors in making food choices.

Research limitations/implications

Theoretically, this qualitative study applied a food choice decision framework in the context of college students with food allergies. Practical recommendations are provided, particularly to campus dining facilities, to fulfill the needs of college students with food allergies.

Originality/value

This study advanced the understanding of the complexity of food choice decision-making among college students with food allergies. A path diagram specific to food choice among college students with food allergies was developed based on the results of this study. This study also highlighted that food allergy management would involve various behavioral changes and revealed that the food choices are influenced by a wide range of factors.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 September 2008

Jennette Higgs

The 2006 UK Government's school food standards has created an opportunity for schools to consider introducing highly nutritious, convenience snack alternatives, such as…

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Abstract

Purpose

The 2006 UK Government's school food standards has created an opportunity for schools to consider introducing highly nutritious, convenience snack alternatives, such as dried fruit, nuts and seeds. This has created anxiety among those who fear a consequent increase in incidence of allergic reactions in schools. The purpose of this paper is to present a controlled approach to secondary school vending, designed to minimise the risks of allergic reaction.

Design/methodology/approach

A consultation process with key organisations, together with an analysis of the vending process in schools has underpinned this work. The Health Education Trust, with experience of developing food and medicines policies in schools, has explored a practical solution to the common assumption that a nut ban in schools is the only way to offer protection to those students at risk.

Findings

A best practice guidance tool for “allergy‐aware” vending has been developed. It provides a framework for a common sense approach to tackling two potentially conflicting issues, identifying vending as a practical solution.

Practical implications

The toolkit is a free download, ready for pilot testing in secondary schools. This mutually beneficial approach to minimising risk is presented as a working draft. Revisions will be made following feedback from schools. This toolkit is not suitable for use in primary schools.

Originality/value

Achieving healthy eating goals for the teenage school population and safeguarding those pupils who have serious food allergies are important issues that merit mutual consideration. This paper explores the issues and proposes, for the first time a best practice guidance to both minimise risks and maximise health benefit.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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