Food allergy and intolerance – A quick guide to ordering food or a takeaway safely
If you have a food allergy or intolerance, it’s important that you have all the information you need to make a safe food choice. We’ve listed some things you should think about before ordering a meal.
Eating out at a restaurant, café or food outlet
When you plan to eat out
- Check the menu online and call ahead to ask what the business’s policy is on food allergy and intolerance. Does it offer food that is suitable for you? And if not, are the staff able to make a special meal for you? (Food businesses must offer you allergen information, but are not required to offer you a different meal to suit your need.)
- Be very clear about your allergy/intolerance and give examples of the foods that make you ill.
- If you don’t feel the person you’re speaking to understands your needs, ask for the manager or someone who can help better.
- Ask how the food is handled and cooked, and whether there is a chance of cross- contamination from cooking equipment or ingredients.
- Check allergen information is accurate. Has there been a last-minute recipe change or ingredient substitution?
- Be extra careful if the restaurant serves complex dishes, as allergens could be less obvious or hidden.
- If you have any doubt about the staff understanding the importance of your dietary needs, do not book the restaurant.
- Speak to your server or the manager. Be clear about your food allergy/intolerance and confirm your previous conversation with the staff
- Check the meal choices are suitable for you or that they can make changes to suit your dietary needs.
- Remind them to be careful of cross-contamination or added allergens from glazes, sauces, cooking oils, and to handle your meal with care.
- If you have any doubt about the staff understanding the importance of your dietary needs, do not eat there.
Ordering a takeaway over the phone or online
- Takeaway meals are considered to be 'distance selling', so information must be made available at the point of purchase and point of delivery.
- Follow the steps listed in the 'Eating out at a restaurant, café or food outlet' section, but also:
- check that the allergen information is available on the menu, online or over the telephone
- when ordering for several people, make sure the restaurant labels your meal, so you know which order is safe for you
Please contact the Food Safety and Standards team on email@example.com if you have any concerns regarding the control of allergens at a food business, or experience an allergic reaction following consumption of food at a food outlet or take away.
You can also visit the Food Standards Agency website.
Food Poisoning - What Consumers Need to Know
- During 2018 - 2019, Denbighshire's Food Safety Team investigated 261 confirmed cases of food poisoning
- 60% of the cases were confirmed to be caused by the organism Campylobacter.
Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK. Consumers need to be vigilant and not put themselves at risk from Campylobacter in the home. The latest figures from the FSA show that 65% of chickens sold in the UK are contaminated with this nasty bug. The good news, is that Campylobacter is preventable, and simple good hygiene at home may prevent you and your family from becoming ill.
How campylobacter is spread and how to minimise your chances of eating food contaminated with campylobacter
Research shows that four in five cases of campylobacter food poisoning in the UK come from contaminated poultry, especially chicken.
One of the main ways to get and spread campylobacter poisoning is through the cross-contamination from raw chicken. For example, washing raw chicken can spread campylobacter by splashing it onto hands, work surfaces, clothing and cooking equipment.
Campylobacter is also found in red meat, unpasteurised milk and untreated water. Although it does not normally grow in food, it spreads easily. Campylobacter has a low infective dose, which means that coming into contact with a few bacteria can cause illness. This is especially important if you are vulnerable i.e. young, older or have an underlying illness.
Top Tips to Help Prevent Campylobacter in the Home
Cross contamination can spread campylobacter.
After preparing raw chicken disinfect surfaces and utensils (dishwasher or antibacterial disinfectant spray)
Make sure you NEVER wash raw chicken
Place raw chicken at the bottom of the fridge
Your dirty cloths can transfer bacteria. Use disposables or wash at + 60C
Lather up and wash hands after handling raw chicken
Only serve chicken if it has reached at least 75°C
Pass Plus Cymru
Do you know of someone between the age of 17-25 who has recently passed their driving test’…… Click here to book your place on a @PassPlusCymruNW approved training scheme for novice car drivers who have passed the basic ‘L’ test. £20 ... no test!
The next training scheme for Denbighshire takes place on Thursday 8 August at Rhyl Fire Station, Coast Road, Rhyl LL18 3PL (5.30pm - 8.00pm).
Driving assessments for older drivers
Do you live in Denbighshire and are aged 65 and over?
You are entitled to have a free initial driving assessment conducted by the Wales Mobility and Driving Assessment Service.
If you are interested to find out more, please ring the Council's Road Safety Department on 01824 706946.
Have you heard about our social media channels?
We have several corporate social media accounts namely Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.
We post all our emergency notices on this social media channel, along with details of most of our meetings plus lots of other important information. We have a Welsh and English Facebook page.
Because of the restrictions in the number of characters, we try and post most of our notices on here, but usually with a link to the longer message wherever possible.
This channel is for images only. We are trying to put more images on here, so if you do have any that you’d like us to share, please let us know.
Again, we are trying to make more use of LinkedIn for our corporate news stories, and also for any job opportunities that we have. You will need to have a LinkedIn account to search for the Council on there.
We save most of our social media films on this account. Subscribe to our channel to ensure you see all our videos.
The Council has been working with Citizens Advice Denbighshire on promoting the uptake of Universal Credit. Here’s a short video to explain more.
Campaign to stop the public from feeding seagulls
The Council is running an awareness campaign, encouraging people not to feed seagulls.
Here’s a short video to explain why we're doing this.