Almost 70% of UK hospitality employees admit they require more information about allergies in their roles, new research has revealed.
A study commissioned by software provider Fourth also showed that a quarter of workers do not feel confident about advising customers with serious allergies.
The statistics, which were drawn from 500 out-of-home food workers, comes ahead of the implementation of Natasha’s Law that will make it mandatory to list all ingredients on pre-packaged produce from 2021.
The importance of the allergen challenge was further reinforced by the results from CGA’s Business Confidence Survey, a quarterly survey targeted at around 130 senior executives working for pub or restaurant groups, with 64% of respondents confirming that addressing allergen procedures, protocols and staff training was either a major focus, or the biggest single challenge, for their business.
When leaders were asked how confident respondents to the CGA survey were about their current procedures, just 33% stated they were only relatively confident; with 63% being either confident, or absolutely confident.
Asked about their employee training frequency on allergens, 19% conducted it daily; 18% weekly; 37% monthly; and 14% bi-annually.
Conclusively, 78% of respondents viewed technology as important or fundamental to tackling allergens.
Other findings from the food workers survey revealed that one in six employees claim not to receive regular training or updates about potential allergy issues; while more than half (58%) of employees said they worry when customers ask if food contains certain ingredients.
While Natasha’s law is due to come into force in 2021, for packaged foods, there is currently no equivalent legislation for food dishes served direct from a kitchen in hospitality venues, such as hotels, pubs and restaurants.