The charity’s new scheme, Allergy Aware, will recognise hospitality businesses that it deems provide an “exceptional” level of service for such customers.
Carla Jones, CEO of Allergy UK, said: “Severe food allergy is a potentially life-threatening condition. Those with a food allergy know only too well the risk posed when eating out and frequently choose not to.
“The Allergy Aware scheme aims to help caterers seize the opportunity to deliver a ‘gold standard’ service to a section of the community that, until now, has been very much excluded.”
Operators who want to get involved with the scheme will be asked to sign a charter ensuring their compliance. Training will then be given to them in order to receive formal accreditation.
Jones added: “We will provide recognition to businesses that don’t only take allergies seriously, but that are going above and beyond legislation, to deliver an exceptional service for the allergic community.”
The charity said that given the introduction of recent EU legislation requiring operators to provide detailed information about allergens present in their dishes and the fact that around 4,800 people are admitted to hospitals for allergic reactions a year, food safety of this kind was even more important than ever.
Businesses who sign up to be part of the scheme can do so initially for twelve months, during which they will be subject to a yearly review and renewal.
Those who successfully gain accreditation will also be given a listing on online restaurant and menu directory Can I Eat There? which lists suitable dining venues for allergic and coeliac consumers