A new food allergy risk assessment tool for food businesses has been published by campaigners keen to avoid the repeat of tragic adverse reactions to food that have taken place at previous sporting events.
"In 2012, thousands of young athletes will visit Britain to take part in, or watch the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, possibly travelling abroad for the first time," said Hazel Gowland, Food Adviser at the Anaphylaxis Campaign which works with food businesses to help them reduce the risk of triggering life-threatening reactions to food. "Young people on an exciting trip of a lifetime, eating away from home and not knowing exactly what is in the food is - unfortunately - a recipe for a potentially serious food allergy incident."
"During any sporting event, I always take a moment to remember the tragic case of 21-year-old Ross Baillie," explains Hazel Gowland. "He was a talented young hurdler, and a finalist in the Commonwealth Games, who died during training in 1999, simply due to eating a sandwich that contained unrecognised peanuts. The anaphylactic reaction this triggered was fatal. Food businesses need to take this issue seriously and train their staff to minimise the risks, to ensure that there are no such tragic incidents in the future."
Ross Baillie's story can be read at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sport/371534.stm
The Anaphylaxis Campaign is supporting food businesses, caterers and food outlets to take simple precautions to minimise the risks of triggering serious food allergies, through a combination of staff training, good food handling practices, and clear information for customers. Their new food allergy risk assessment model can be downloaded here.
"We encourage all food businesses to follow the simple and effective advice given by the Food Standards Agency and Anaphylaxis Campaign," said Melissa Hayles, who coordinates the campaign for a healthy and sustainable food legacy from the London 2012 Games. "Customers trust food outlets to serve safe food, so it is essential that businesses take responsible action to ensure that they maintain high standards of food safety, including minimising food allergy risks."
What food businesses can do
Plan and implement Food Allergy training for your staff. This is particularly important to help avoid triggering serious conditions such as anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening. Online allergy training is published by the Food Standards Agency. Click on the picture below to find out more. And the Anaphylaxis Campaign has produced a very useful allergy risk assessment to work through with staff.
Sustain annual conference - 8 December
Published 13 Mar 2012
Food Legacy: The campaign, launched October 2011, is inspired by the London 2012 Food Vision adopted by the organisers of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Food Legacy asks caterers, restaurants, event organisers and hospitality organisations to commit publicly to taking steps to improve the healthiness, ethics and sustainability of the food they serve.