A college student, Emma Egerton, 18, ordered a Chicken Tikka Korma from Spice of India in Greater Manchester, through the Just Eat takeaway online website.
The police chief’s daughter was killed by a chicken curry from her local takeaway after she suffered a massive allergic reaction because a nuts warning was left off the menu.
Just Eat is a UK-based online takeaway website that connects customers to some 25,000 food outlets across Europe, allowing them to form a personal directory of menus and choose their favorite restaurant, place an order and select from pick-up or delivery options.
Most restaurants do not know about food allergies. Just a few of them process and cater food for food allergy sufferers, others are unaware of it. Some restaurant owners and staff not even know how dangerous a food allergy can be.
Many restaurants fry the meat, vegetables, even fish or shrimp in the same oil.
No courses have yet been organized to educate the industry on the allergy related cooking procedures. Restaurants should add nut warning signs next to the dishes on the menu that contain nuts, to help consumers.
Food allergies are not rare at all, and should not be underestimated! Food allergy is a growing public health concern. In fact, it is estimated that 150 to 200 Americans die each year because of allergic reactions to food – according to the FDA.
- As many as 15 million people have food allergies in the U.S.
- An estimated 9 million, or 4% of adults have food allergies.
- Nearly 6 million or 8% of children have food allergies with young children affected most.
The prevalence of food allergies and associated anaphylaxis appears to be on the rise.
- According to a study released in 2008 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about an 18% increase in food allergy was seen between 1997 and 2007.
- The prevalence of peanut allergy among children appears to have tripled between 1997 and 2008.
To reduce the risks, FDA is working to ensure that major allergenic ingredients in food are accurately labeled. Since 2006, food labels must state clearly whether the food contains a major food allergen. The following are considered to be major food allergens:
Milk, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree nuts ( such as almonds, walnuts, and pecans), Soybeans, Wheat, Fish, Shellfish (such as crab, lobster, and shrimp).
These foods account for 90 percent of all food allergies in the United States.
So, remember to take all measures to protect yourself and your family members who suffer from food allergies. In addition to avoiding food items that cause a reaction, we recommend that you:
- Wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace stating that you have a food allergy
- Carry an auto-injector device containing epinephrine ( adrenaline).
- Seek medical help immediately if you experience a food allergic reaction.
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) was passed by Congress to ensure that there would be clearer labeling of food for the millions of people with food allergies. As of January 01, 2006, all food products regulated by the FDA must be labeled in a specific way to identify the eight major food allergens.
For a look at the complete law, visit:
- Definition of allergy (livingwithallergy.wordpress.com)