Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has announced the launch of a campaign to encourage young people to talk about food allergies. In light of the fact 44 per cent of people with a food allergy who responded to the new FSS survey wouldn’t always mention it to the person they’re buying food from in a restaurant or café, the new campaign from FSS, supported by Allergy UK and Young Scot, is encouraging young people with food allergies across Scotland to discuss their food allergies with friends and when they’re eating out, and to remember their allergy pen if they need one.
Jacqui McElhiney, Head of Food Protection Science and Surveillance at FSS, explained: “Being aware of food allergies and talking about them is vital. Our survey suggests a need for greater awareness about the seriousness of food allergies, and that young people may be reluctant to discuss their allergies with others for fear of causing a fuss or standing out from the crowd. “28 per cent of the people who completed our survey have a food allergy. This highlights how common they are, but many people without food allergies may still not be aware of the serious impact they can have on people’s everyday lives. Food allergies are different from food intolerances as they can cause allergic reactions and can be life-threatening.”
Carla Jones, Chief Executive at Allergy UK, added: “We believe that this is a really important campaign, which connects directly with young people with food allergies on the importance of telling their friends and other people about their allergy when eating out and the things that they need to do to keep safe. This kind of communication plays a key role in raising better awareness and, perhaps more importantly, better understanding of food allergies and what it is like to live with one.”