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Food Standards Scotland develops training tool to help cater for food allergies

24 Jun 2020
Food Standards Scotland has developed a new online training tool to improve awareness about food allergens in manufacturing and catering settings.

The tool, primarily intended for local authority Authorised Officers and those working in the food industry in Scotland, comprises six modules and covers:

   Legal requirements when selling food containing allergens

  •     Physical reactions when people with allergies are exposed to allergens
  •     Areas where allergens can impact in manufacturing and catering (factory) settings
  •     Food labelling guidelines
  •     Food composition
  •     Providing consumers with allergen information

Food Standards Scotland’s Senior Enforcement Manager, Dr Lynsey Scullion, said: “Allergic reactions caused by food can be very serious so it is important for businesses to be aware of their legal responsibilities when it comes to preparing and selling food that contains allergens.

“Our latest consumer survey shows one in every 10 households in Scotland has at least one person with a food allergy. Consumers with an allergy have reported that it is easier to find out information about allergens in food when making purchases in supermarkets rather than when eating outside of the home, for example takeaways, cafes and restaurants.

“This free allergen training tool will help businesses understand what they need to do in order to cater for consumers with food allergies and intolerances safely.”

Successful completion of the training carries a maximum value of three hours (core activity) for the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme.

It has also been designed so that progress can be saved and returned to at a later stage, allowing users to learn at their own pace and take advantage of any available training time.

Karen Keeley, Director of Professional Development at REHIS, said: “REHIS welcomes Food Standards Scotland’s allergen training tool as an addition to our growing suite of CPD resources for current and aspiring Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) and Food Safety Officers (FSOs) in Scotland.  
“Bringing greater awareness and understanding around food allergens will undoubtedly assist Officers in supporting businesses in the supply of safe food, contributing towards protecting public health.”

Chris Seyfried, Environmental Health Officer - Food & Business Group at West Dunbartonshire Council, said: “Food Standards Scotland’s allergen training tool is a fantastic resource for business and EHO colleagues to use in order to ensure compliance with current allergen legislation.

“The tool format is accessible, split into several different modules which can be printed and digested in your own time. At the end of each module there is a multiple choice quiz that will help to consolidate any learning from the module and consider how it would apply to practice.

“During these difficult times, when training is rather thin on the ground, the tool is a great resource for those working towards or holding REHIS Chartered EHO status.”