Survey shows over half of young people (60%*) with a food allergy or intolerance have avoided eating out in the last six months due to their condition.
The results are from a bespoke survey, released today by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), in partnership with Allergy UK (AUK) and the Anaphylaxis Campaign (AC), on the views of young people living with food allergies and intolerances. The survey also revealed that while 67% of respondents reported being aware of the legal requirement of food businesses to provide information on the top 14 allergens, only 14% felt extremely confident asking for allergen information when dining out and 14% reported feeling not at all confident.
The FSA, working with AUK and AC, is today launching easy to ASK, a campaign designed to empower young people to ask food businesses about allergens when eating out, so that they can make safe choices. The campaign follows several allergy-related deaths among young people – data** shows that children and young adults are disproportionately more prone to die from an allergic reaction than adults.
Easy to ASK is also a reminder to businesses to be up front about the provision of accurate allergen information, particularly with this vulnerable group – asking a customer if they have food allergies could save a life. It follows the simple mnemonic:
Always ask about allergies
Research reveals worrying challenges
When meeting new people, 5% of respondents with a food allergy and 11% with a food intolerance reported not telling anyone about their condition at all, potentially risking allergic reactions or fatal consequences. When asked why, some respondents said they felt embarrassed and some said that their condition was too complicated to explain.
Other findings include:
- 59% reported they tend to visit the same places when eating out
- 55% reported always researched the menu online before going to a new or unfamiliar place
- Only 9% reported always contacting a restaurant in advance to check they provide allergen information
Food businesses step up
“We’ve seen real progress in how food businesses approach customers with allergies***. However, 60% of the young people surveyed tell us they’ve avoided eating out in the past six months because of their condition.
Living with a food allergy or intolerance is not easy and can have fatal consequences. Many in this age group will be students starting out at university or college, in new surroundings and with new friends. It’s crucial that they feel confident to speak up and ask for allergen information, and that the people around them make that easier.
Food businesses have an important part to play in making this age group feel more at ease. They are required always to provide accurate allergen information. Through our easy to ASK campaign, we’re raising awareness and understanding to boost the confidence of young people, and we’re encouraging food businesses to make it easier for everyone to ask the question, speak up and help keep those at risk safe”, said FSA chairman Heather Hancock.
The FSA have issued a set of posters which TUCO members can download, print and display around campus to encourage students to feel comfortable about discussing allergens. Please note, these resources are only available for use in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Click below to download the posters:
TUCO have also recently issued a Code of Practice for Food Allergen Management designed to ensure you’re providing the best possible catering experience for all your students and help you comply with current legislation regarding food allergens. Download here.
*The survey was conducted by the Food Standards Agency in partnership with Allergy UK and Anaphylaxis Campaign. The survey is based on responses from 2599 young people aged 16-24 in the UK.
Many respondents skipped some of the questions. Therefore, tables are based on the respondents to the relevant question, rather than all 2599 respondents.
***Preferences for consumers with food allergies or intolerances when eating out: food.gov.uk/research/food-allergy-and-intolerance-research/preferences-for-consumers-with-food-allergies-or-intolerances-when-eating-out
Coeliac UK, the largest independent charity for people who need to live gluten free, has announced recent research shows diagnosis of the autoimmune disease, coeliac disease, which affects 1 in 100 people, has risen in the UK from 24% in 2011 to 30% in 2015.
The research, commissioned by the charity, from the University of Nottingham, searched UK patient records up to and including 2015 for clinical diagnoses of coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis (the skin manifestation of coeliac disease).
The research showed that although diagnosis rose by a quarter in four years (2011-2015), alarmingly the rate of diagnosis was slowing significantly, resulting in around half a million people in the UK still living with undiagnosed coeliac disease.
It also highlighted that 1 in 4 adults over 18 years diagnosed with coeliac disease had previously been misdiagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), the same percentage that had been reported in research from 2013.
Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Coeliac UK said: “It’s fantastic that the research shows that around 45,000 people were diagnosed between 2011 and 2015. But with half a million people in the UK still without a diagnosis we’ve got a long way to go. The fact that testing for the condition is slowing and nothing has changed in people being diagnosed with IBS before being tested for coeliac disease, suggests the NHS is failing to address the mountain of underdiagnoses. We know this is even more urgent today as recent research is uncovering some symptoms of coeliac disease, specifically neurological ones that cannot be reversed without an early diagnosis.”
It still takes 13 years on average for a person with coeliac disease to be diagnosed.
The NICE guidelines for coeliac disease and IBS recommend that anyone presenting with IBS symptoms should be screened first for coeliac disease.
"It is essential that people with chronic gut conditions - whether that's coeliac disease or IBS - get an accurate diagnosis as quickly as possible. Having the right tests allows healthcare practitioners to put the right treatment in place and patients can learn how to best manage their condition," said Alison Reid CEO The IBS Network.
Coeliac disease is a serious autoimmune condition caused by a reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. People diagnosed with coeliac disease must maintain a strict gluten free diet for the rest of their life if they are to avoid very serious complications such as osteoporosis, infertility and although rare, small bowel cancer.
“The blood test for coeliac disease is relatively quick and cheap and we urge anyone that has ongoing symptoms to visit their GP and request to be screened for coeliac disease. Next year we will be launching a campaign targeting the medical profession to encourage them to consider if their patients could be suffering with undiagnosed coeliac disease or have been misdiagnosed with IBS and ensure that they do not to remove gluten from their diet prior to testing as this could lead to a false negative result,” continued Ms Sleet.
Although many people present with a range of symptoms including those that are gut related, other symptoms include mouth ulcers, anaemia, repeated miscarriages and neurological problems.
The charity’s online assessment www.coeliac.org.uk/isitcoeliacdisease allows people to quickly check if they should go to the GP and ask for a blood test.
New green recycling messaging on PET bottles heralds Harrogate Spring’s switch to recycled content.
All PET bottles of Harrogate Spring are now made using more than 50 per cent rPET, the highest percentage use of UK post-consumer recycled PET of any water producer.
Brand manager Nicky Cain said: “Consumers may notice a slight blue, glass-like tinge due to the high percentage of rPET.
“This is something of a badge of honour. PET bottles are already the greenest packaging option for bottled water when compared with alternative packaging materials, using less carbon and producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The use of more than 50 percent rPET is even better for the environment, helping towards achieving a fully sustainable circular economy.
“This is the first time we have introduced colour on to our classic black and white Harrogate Spring labels. The use of green lettering underlines the importance of the move to more than 50 per cent rPET content and serves to reinforce the recycling message to consumers.
“The use of colour stands out, encouraging consumer interaction and a better understanding of the link between recycling and the use of rPET in the life cycle of the product.
“Harrogate Water is leading the industry in its use of UK post-consumer recycled PET. We want to go further and increase the amount of UK-sourced rPET in our bottles, but this is wholly dependent on availability of supply and this is why the recycling message to consumers is so important.
“There is currently a shortage of rPET and the UK has some way to go to match the best recycling rates in Europe.
“However, independent research commissioned by Harrogate Water in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy, found that bottled water consumers are very environmentally conscious and want to recycle.
“The more consistent the messaging, the greater the influence on consumer behaviour and this will help increase the supply of UK-sourced rPET and help achieve a circular economy.”
The switch to UK post-consumer recycled PET was announced earlier this year. It more than matches the recycled content of Harrogate Water’s glass bottles, which have used 50 per cent recycled content for many years. It is the latest environmental initiative by Harrogate Water which has been involved in the Incredible Shrinking Bottle recycling campaign with Keep Britain Tidy, urging consumers to ‘Twist it, Cap it, Recycle it’.
Adelie Foods continues to cater for growing vegan and vegetarian market with exciting range.
URBAN eat, has extended its vegan and vegetarian range of sandwiches and wraps to cater for the growing demand from UK customers for free from diets.
There are five new exciting additions to the Roots range, carrying on Roots’ pun-filled legacy, including:
- Pickle Me Up Sandwich - Dairy free cheddar style cheese with pickle, tomato, red onion and salad leaves.
- Avo-Lafel Sandwich - Avocado falafel, red pepper tapenade, pesto, red and yellow pepper and salad leaves.
- Pesto Presto - Dairy free mozzarella with pesto, slow roast tomato, tomato and salad leaves.
- Dirty Jack Wrap - BBQ jackfruit with ‘Dirty Sauce’, carrot slaw, sweetcorn and salad leaves
- Hot Mozza Bella Panini - Dairy free mozzarella, sweet chilli peppers, pesto, slow roasted tomato and tomato ragu.
The new products will be available from August 2018 joining current favourites in the now 12-strong Roots collection, including the bestselling Bhaji Bonanza sandwich, combining onion bhajis and Bombay potatoes, and the Shabby Chic Pea sandwich, which brings together spiced chickpeas with Moroccan style carrot and orange chutney.
In the past 12 months, Adelie has more than doubled the size of its vegan range following success with consumers and requests from customers to expand its offering.
Isla Owen, Senior Marketing Manager at Adelie Foods, said: “Innovation and keeping on top of trends is at the heart of our ethos at Adelie and catering for specialised diets such as Vegan is a big focus for us at URBAN eat. Meat free diets are becoming more common than ever, with approximately 12% of the UK population now following this type of diet.
“We’re pleased to extend our Roots range with fresh, exciting sandwiches, wraps and paninis that give a real taste explosion. The new products will help retailers and foodservice suppliers cater for the growing market of consumers looking for more free from options during lunchtime.”
 Vegetarian Society, 2017
Big Al’s is excited to announce the launch of its Breakfast Matters campaign, designed to support university caterers and successfully tap into the profitable morning occasion.
Already in significant growth, and showing no sign of slowing, the NPD group predicts breakfast visits to grow by +5.7% in 2018 and a further +4.8% in 2019 - presenting a prosperous opportunity for operators. Breakfast is the most popular meal of the day amongst Millennials and GenZ and if skipped, can negatively affect student’s focus and concentration levels.
As part of the Breakfast Matters campaign, Big Al’s aims to support operators and promote the importance of breakfast for students and staff, through the creation of ‘Breakfast Campaign’ packs. Complete with POS for venues and digital assets, the packs are a great tool for operators, and encourage the implementation of breakfast events during Freshers Week.
The first 20 universities to sign up will receive 40 free servings of Big Al’s delicious Sausage Pattie, launched earlier this year to assist operators in catering for the ever-growing breakfast market. Big Al’s Sausage Patties are made from fully cooked pork, flame grilled for great taste and seasoned with sage, nutmeg and pepper for a delicious authentic flavour. Ready to serve from frozen in less than a minute, the Sausage Patties can be built into a simple on the go option for busy students or a more indulgent morning meal.
Serve a Big Al’s Sausage Pattie with a slice of cheese, Framptons Muffin Omelette and drop of ketchup encased in a KaterBake English Breakfast Muffin, for students grabbing something to go. Or for a sit down breakfast dish, offer a Big Al’s Sausage Pattie on a bed of spinach, topped with a slice of cheese, poached egg and drizzle of hollandaise sauce, all in a toasted brioche bun.
Jessie McCarthy, Business Development Executive comments; “After a successful launch of the Big Al’s Sausage Pattie we are thrilled to introduce this dedicated breakfast campaign for universities. The POS and digital assets in the pack are available to higher education caterers to help them stay on top of current trends and entice students to eat breakfast on campus rather than venturing to the high-street, keeping spend in-house.. Big Al’s will be on hand to support each universities’ campaign and the sales team can be there on the day to assist with sampling events, and engage with students to unlock each outlets profit potential.”
To sign up for a free ‘Breakfast Campaign’ pack for your outlet and be in with a chance of winning a sample of Sausage Patties click here.
Lion sauces has published an insight paper focusing on the rise of vegan and plant-based menu options.
With 44% of Brits either not eating meat, reducing the amount they eat or willing to cut down, Lion’s new paper, Flavour Forecast: Meat-Free Goes Mainstream, delves into consumer behaviour and offers suggestions for keeping menus ahead of the curve.
Where once vegan food was classed as a niche interest area, it is now a rapidly growing trend. Lion’s new publication, the latest in a series of research pieces, explores how foodservice operators can embrace the opportunities available.
Sarah Moor, brand manager for Lion sauces, comments: “Catering for vegan customers – or those who want to eat fewer animal-based products – is big business. Health, sustainability and environmental concerns have led to a rise in demand for creative meat-free menu choices.
“With a Vegan Society survey finding that 91% of vegans still struggle to find food-to-go options, there is a real opportunity for the foodservice industry to vie for the ‘plant pound’.”
The paper also identifies as a key trend a move away from processed ingredients towards plant-based whole foods.
Anticipating the growing demand for animal-free options, Lion has recently launched a new vegan mayo to the foodservice market. Ideal for sandwiches, wraps, dips, coleslaw, and even cakes, this creamy and tasty addition to the Lion range of condiments and sauces makes the creation of plant-based menu options much more straightforward.
Moor adds: “It’s important for chefs and caterers to build up a bank of ingredients that are suitable for the majority of dietary requirements – for example, our new vegan mayo can be enjoyed by meat-eaters, veggies and vegans, as well as those with gluten, dairy or mustard allergies.”
Lion constantly monitors the ever-changing landscape of the sector to ensure its products help businesses meet current dietary requirements and nutrition targets. As customers increasingly lean towards options that are accessible to all, the next insight paper in the series will explore the ‘Free From’ movement, including the results of Lion’s current drive towards clean-label products.
Lion sauces’ paper, Flavour Forecast: Meat-Free Goes Mainstream, is available to download from www.lionsauces.co.uk.
 according to the finding of NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey
Take on the charity's 'Plastic Challenge' to try and detox your life of the planet's substance of convenience
With more plastic than fish (by weight) in our seas predicted to be a possibility by 2050, our reliance on plastic in all its forms is clear.
We’re in a plastic pickle.
With the nightmare that plastic pollution is creating in our oceans now high on political, personal and news agendas, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the UK's leading marine charity, is once again throwing down the gauntlet to the public to take on its Plastic Challenge.
MCS is asking people to give up single-use plastics for the whole of July.
Simon Reeve, TV presenter and MCS Ocean Ambassador, says “Our planet is becoming poisoned by plastic. The vast amount in our oceans has become an environmental emergency as a direct result of our throwaway society. That’s why I’m supporting thousands of people living without single use plastic this July as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s Plastic Challenge. Don’t just get depressed about plastic - stop using it!”
The charity has run the Plastic Challenge for the last four years – and has been supported in doing so by BRITA UK since 2016. More than 1,000 people took part in 2016, and last year over 5,035 registered to give up using single use plastic. That includes food packaged in plastic, plastic water bottles, plastic milk bottles, shower gels, toothpaste and pasta to name but a very few!
“This is a challenge that you can make as easy or as hard for yourself as you like” says Dr. Sue Kinsey MCS Technical Specialist. “But however you choose to do it you won't fail to realise just how reliant on plastic we’ve become. Some things are really tough to replace however much you want to give up single-use plastic”.
"The support we had last year was amazing and we know, from the comments we received on social media, that for many, this month is the start of a lifestyle change."
Among the things people found hardest to replace were milk containers, dried goods packaged in single use plastic like pasta rice and pulses, loo paper and toothpaste.
MCS says that many people who take on the challenge really do get stuck in.
“They know why it’s so important to cut down on our plastic use," says Dr Kinsey. "If these dedicated ditchers found it hard to find non single use plastic alternatives then that just goes to show how plastic dominates our lives even if you actively don’t want it to."
This year MCS hopes even more people will try and give up single use plastic during July. The BBC's Blue Planet II brought the issue of plastic pollution in our seas into the UK's sittings rooms at the back end of last year and this year there's also more help and advice available than before to help Challengers.
MCS has written a book on the living life without plastic: "How To Live Plastic Free – a day in the life of a plastic detox" (Published by Headline UK, ISBN 978-1-4722-5981-3)
The book takes you through an average day giving tips and practical advice on how to remove unnecessary plastic at every opportunity. From getting up to going to bed you can find out about plastic-free cosmetics, mealtimes, shopping, workplace, pets, sporting and special events.
Last year Challengers made their own bread, yogurt, cleaning and bathroom products like mouthwash and sugar scrubs so as not to use plastic containers that are used once and then thrown out.
MCS beach cleaning data has revealed a rise of 180% of plastic litter found on beaches in the last two decades posing a huge threat to wildlife and humans. Plastic bags, bottles and tiny plastic pieces, are regularly found in the stomachs of turtles and other sea creatures and in some cases have caused their death from starvation or choking.
“Reducing plastic litter will certainly be an uphill climb - but there are some easy steps to take and if we can all cut down the amount we use there’s no doubt our marine environment will be a healthier place” says Dr. Kinsey. “People taking on the Plastic Challenge are often shocked to find out just how much single-use plastic is used every day. Have a go and even if you can only manage a single day and you’ll never look at your shopping in the same way again!”
The Plastic Challenge is once again being sponsored by water filtration company BRITA UK. Becky Widdowson is BRITA UK's Marketing Director: ”It’s fantastic to be supporting the Plastic Challenge alongside MCS once again. At BRITA UK we believe it is absolutely vital that we step up to protect marine life from the unnecessary damage done by single use plastic bottles and other forms of plastic litter. One or two small changes such as carrying a refillable bottle or a reusable bag or opting out of disposable bottled water when we buy our lunch or go to the gym, could have such an enormous positive impact. Given that 60 per cent of people would be willing to switch from bottled water to more environmentally friendly alternatives it’s clear this can be done."
Sign up to take part in the Plastic Challenge at: www.mcsuk.org/plastic-challenge
"How To Live Plastic Free – a day in the life of a plastic detox" (Published by Headline UK, ISBN 978-1-4722-5981-3) is available to buy now. For details visit: www.mcsuk.org/news/MCS-Live-Plastic-Free-Book
A Cambridge College, and TUCO member, is celebrating the success of one of its employees who has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award from the UK’s oldest culinary organisation.
Jaroslava Vankova, who is Functions Supervisor at St John’s College, was ranked in the top six for the 2018 President’s Award with the Réunion des Gastronomes. The Award, which identifies and encourages excellence in professional food and beverage services, is open to anyone working full-time at a team management level in food and beverage services in the UK hospitality industry.
Jaroslava was selected for the final shortlist of six and invited to the Institute of Directors in London to meet a judging panel and have lunch with the other candidates. She started working at St John’s College as a casual employee before becoming Functions Assistant in 2013 and then being promoted to Functions Supervisor in 2017. Her previous roles include working in a hotel in Bideford, Devon and then at the Lensfield Hotel in Cambridge.
Bill Brogan, Catering & Conference Manager at St John’s College said: “We are incredibly proud of Jaroslava’s achievement in reaching the final shortlist for the President’s Award in the Réunion des Gastronomes.
“This prestigious organisation provides a unique opportunity for learning and advancement supported by members of the Réunion and the Award is pitched at the very highest levels in the industry. Although she didn’t make it to the final three, it was a great experience for Jaroslava and underlines her commitment to developing her career further.”
Wallace Vincent, President of the Réunion, added: “It is only our second year of running this award, and after the success of last year, the calibre and number of entries is clearly going from strength to strength.”
All finalists will be invited to the Annual Banquet at the Savoy in November, at which the winner will be announced. The winner will receive four two-day placements across different industry sectors, as well as benefit from unique mentoring and networking opportunities.
Operators emerge from challenges with the highest levels of optimism for more than two years, the CGA Fourth Business Confidence Survey reveals.
Confidence is starting to return to the eating and drinking-out sector - despite a host of pressures on the market. But there remains a gap between the optimism that leaders of Britain’s restaurant, pub and bar groups have about their own businesses and their confidence in the market as a whole.
The latest CGA Fourth Business Confidence Survey, carried out in May by business insight consultancy CGA in partnership with leading hospitality software provider Fourth, reveals that 75% of company leaders are now optimistic about the prospects for their own business over the next 12 months—11 percentage points more than at the time of the last confidence survey in February.
There is also an upswing in bosses’ confidence for the overall market, although the survey finds that less than half (47%) are upbeat about prospects for the wider eating and drinking out sector over the next 12 months. This also represents an 11 percentage points increase on three months earlier, and both figures are the highest recorded by the survey since February 2016.
However, they are still below the levels seen before the Brexit vote. In February, three quarters of leaders said their businesses had been adversely affected by the consequences of the referendum.
“The more upbeat tone of the survey appears at odds with the recent news of some high profile restaurant closures in the first half of this year, driven by business challenges including rising food, people and property costs and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit,” said CGA’s CEO Phil Tate.
“But it might be because of this market shake out, coupled with more stable food prices, that business executives are now gaining more confidence,” Tate added.
As one survey participant observed: “The [restaurant] market is sorting itself out like the pub industry did a few years ago. We are over saturated with some struggling brands. Once they leave, which is happening, there will be opportunities for better brands.”
And as another commented: “An unsettled market presents opportunities for established operators with a clear offer.”
Ben Hood, CEO of Fourth, said: “In the face of challenging external headwinds in rising costs of both labour and inventory, there remains a cohort of outstanding operators who are constantly looking inwardly at their businesses and investing in the marketing and technology they need to increase efficiencies and improve their offer and the customer experience. There will always be an appetite for spending on food and drink among UK consumers, it’s ingrained in our culture, and these slick, streamlined businesses are in pole position to thrive over the coming years.”
Tate noted that the continuing gap between market and individual business confidence was a cause for concern as it highlighted an underlying nervousness that might affect corporate investment and growth decisions. But with CGA data indicating that people continue to go out to eat and drink, the results show that there is plenty of room for distinctive, customer-focused brands to succeed.
Phil Tate concluded: “After a tough start to 2018, this latest Business Confidence Survey is a welcome reminder that hospitality remains an essentially upbeat industry. CGA’s research shows that like-for-like sales growth is modest, and that many restaurant, pub and bar operators have scaled back their new openings plans—but conditions that challenge some businesses can also bring opportunities for others.”
The CGA Fourth Business Confidence Survey is produced in partnership with Fourth and is based on responses from 160 leading figures from the industry, working at CEO, MD, chairman, board and senior management levels.
Leicester Services Partnership are looking for an Operations Manager to manage all day to day catering and retail operations, vending, hospitality and event catering and the conference food delivery service, in accordance with relevant legislation regarding premises licenses, food safety and health and safety and all Company policies and procedures.
About Leicester Services Partnership
Leicester Services Partnership formed from the joint venture partnership between the University of Leicester and its Student’s Union and was the first of its kind in the UK amongst the Higher Education institutes to unify and deliver all catering, retail and bars operations across the campus and offering something entirely new for customers, starting with the launch of the visual retail brand ‘Here for U’.
‘Here for U’ is the visual brand of the equal partnership venture created to unify operations and deliver a consistent customer service experience as well as provide inspirational spaces to eat, drink, relax, reflect, learn and socialise here at the University of Leicester.
This partnership and brand identity will signal change; offering a fresh new start to all those operating within in it and therefore benefiting the customer by offering exciting, vibrant and current food options and trends, improve the efficiency across the board by streamlining operations and attract new and retain customers through a variety of offers and discounts as well as an enticing loyalty scheme.
Find out more and download the job specification here.