News Flash! Allergy Hour, the supermarkets and what to do?

alarm-clock-artIf any of you lovely people are on Twitter tonight from 8.30pm it’s #allergyhour – the topics for tonight are allergy safe Hallowe’en treats and the biggie: strategies for ensuring supermarkets act on our needs.

It comes after I discovered to my horror that Sainsbury’s (at the very least the stores near me) have discontinued DS-gluten free bread in favour of their own brand stuff – so NO egg free, gluten free bread at all now on their shelves. In this pic not ONE bread product is egg free. Continue reading “News Flash! Allergy Hour, the supermarkets and what to do?”

Is she or isn’t she..?

IMG_7712SADIE-SOO is eight months old.

Aside from a panic at four weeks when she developed a horrid eczema-type rash across her face and neck (which disappeared three fraught weeks later, during which we were thinking ‘bloody brilliant, another allergy baby’) she has seemed, dare I say it, to be allergy free.

Weaning has gone well. We’ve introduced soya, dairy, banana and wheat and she’s stuffed the lot. No rashes, no hives.

Continue reading “Is she or isn’t she..?”

The dishes I wishes

sweet-potato-fries-a2
Sweet potato fries – a simple allergy free option

WHEN I FIRST turned vegetarian about, ooh, 28 years ago (gulp) it was pretty standard fare when eating out to get pizza with holes in it where the salami had been picked off, a plate of peas and potatoes while everyone else chomped on chicken and more baked beans than you could shake a farty stick at.

And in truth it’s only been in fairly recent times – say, the last five to ten years – that I haven’t always been faced with the same bloody meal every time I eat out.

Continue reading “The dishes I wishes”

The catering conundrum (and some easy steps)

man-and-woman-messy-kitchen-x-ray-OK-TO-USE_rect540
Get that pinny on and get scrubbing

THE BATTLE to convince more people to cater for food allergies is double-edged.

On the one hand, you want to stress how simple it can be – some common sense, a clean kitchen, clean utensils and being scrupulous about ingredients does the trick. On the other hand, it’s vital to stress how dangerous it can be if those simple processes aren’t undertaken properly.

I understand why many run scared. Legally, it’s virtually impossible for anyone to describe their premises as 100 per cent guaranteed ‘nut free’. But, as our visit to Higher Lank Farm proved, it is possible to cater safely for both allergic and non-allergic guests.

Continue reading “The catering conundrum (and some easy steps)”

A response from the Food Standards Agency…

SORRY IT’S taken me a while to post this – here’s the response I received from the FSA on my allergen labelling gripes. I’ve highlighted a few bits in bold but, in short, I think our next step is to write directly to the European Commission. Sigh. And all I wanted to do was buy a few bits in Sainsbury’s…

Continue reading “A response from the Food Standards Agency…”

An email to the Food Standards Agency

groceryfail
The weekly shop + food allergy = how it feels

FOLLOWING MY blog posts on the issue and countless angry Tweets the FSA has asked me to email my concerns about the new food labelling legislation to them directly. So I have. The letter’s below.

I feel very strongly about this and am considering launching a petition to have this legislation amended. If you have concerns, too, please let the FSA know (email at the bottom of this post).

Continue reading “An email to the Food Standards Agency”

Is it nuts to ban gluten? On changes to the allergy labelling laws

getty_rm_photo_of_nut_allergy_warning_label GO SHOPPING for food over the coming months and, if you’re a label-scrutiniser like me, you’ll notice some changes. Over time, those omnipresent allergy ‘contains’ boxes (see left) will be phased out. Instead, allergens will be listed in the ingredients only. Moreover, you won’t see the words ‘contains gluten’. The word gluten in this context will, from next year, be banned.

Why? It’s all part of an EU directive on food labelling that comes into effect in December 2014. Earlier this year the UK government conducted a public consultation on the way those changes should be implemented. Last month the Food Standards Agency issued its guidance on how the new rules will work.

Continue reading “Is it nuts to ban gluten? On changes to the allergy labelling laws”

Attack of the ice cream (when accidents happen)

252562895_99c2c7b661TODAY A TODDLER put an ice cream covered finger in my baby girl’s mouth.

My first reaction was to yell ‘Noooo!’ and whip her out of her pushchair to douse her mouth out with a wet wipe.

Then I started to panic that she might react (so far she appears allergy free but Sidney’s doctor advised we delay the introduction of egg, nuts and sesame to his little sister until she is properly tested later this autumn). Then I began to shake, thinking: “Oh my God, what if someone had done that to Sidney?”

Continue reading “Attack of the ice cream (when accidents happen)”