A report in “The Week” magazine of 30/1/2010 provided some interesting numbers. It quoted that around 20% of adults in the UK believe they are intolerant of, or allergic to, some form of food with wheat being the most commonly cited. In the same article it was pointed out that researchers at Portsmouth University discovered that fewer than 2% actually have a problem, which means that millions of people may be unnecessarily avoiding food of one type or another. Figures quoted from 2009 showed 4.5% of people thought they were allergic to wheat whereas fewer than one in 200 children actually have a problem. The sponsor of the study? The Flour Advisory Bureau! This may have been a biased report? But I do wonder whether there is an element of truth to this? And the cost of allergen control procedure implementation and training is huge and growing. There is a case for proper study and continued research as per the European Food Safety Authority so that control is implemented against proportional risk, otherwise it is just another excuse for your food prices to increase way beyond inflation, year after year, as suppliers into the food chain struggle to cope with this problem.
For more information generally about allergen management and training visit the Food Standards Agency at: