Council supports national campaign to stay takeaway safe

9 March 2021

During March Cheshire West and Chester Council is supporting the Food Standards Agency's latest campaign to stay 'takeaway safe' by encouraging people to speak up about food allergies to takeaways and other food businesses.

The campaign is particularly aimed at young people who may be too embarrassed to speak up if they are allergic to a particular food item.

Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, said: "During the ongoing pandemic, takeaways have become the new 'eating out'. We might not be able to get out as much but sharing a takeaway with your household can be the touch of normality we all need.

"Whether it's a treat, special occasion, or you just can't face the washing up, eating out while eating in is the new normal for many of us. But, if you, someone in your family, or any of your housemates has a food allergy, never assume that your order will be safe just because it was before. Ingredients, recipes and staff can change, so your regular order may not be the same."

The campaign gives the following tips to speak up and stay takeaway safe:

Be allergy aware - Find out if anyone in the group you’re ordering for has a food allergy.

Speak to the restaurant every time - If ordering by app, don’t rely on the in-app messaging service. Call the restaurant directly and make sure they understand the allergy. Remember to ask, even when ordering 'the usual', because the recipe, ingredients, chef or kitchen staff may have changed.

Be clear - Give examples of food that could cause a reaction and be clear about the allergy.

Ask the restaurant to label the allergy-safe meal - Make sure the container will be labelled so that it's clear when the meal arrives and there's no risk of cross-contamination.

Follow your instincts - If the person you're ordering from doesn't understand the allergy or intolerance, ask to speak to the manager. If you still don't feel confident, consider ordering elsewhere.

Don't feel embarrassed - There is no need to feel awkward asking about your allergy. Food business are legally required to provide allergen information when you order and when the food is delivered.

There are no cures for food allergy. People manage their condition by avoiding the food that makes them ill. The Food Standards Agency has more tips and information for keeping allergy safe online: www.food.gov.uk/SpeakUpForAllergies.

Always choose a takeaway with a high food hygiene rating (4 or 5) which shows they take food hygiene seriously. More information is available on the Foods Standards Agency website.

#SpeakUpForAllergies

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