25 | Nov | 14

Richard Johnson

Allergic To Change

Are you wheat intolerant like Rachel Weisz? Dairy intolerant like Orlando Bloom? Or lactose intolerant like Rachel Hunter? Get you. Evidence from Norwich Union Healthcare’s Health of the Nation Index suggests that these days we’re diagnosing ourselves with a copy of Hello! and OK – and not bothering to check our allergies with our local GP. But the market for “free from” food is certainly growing, and is now worth up to £100m. There’s a raft of food out there that excludes all of the 14 named allergens – including Gluten, Tree Nuts, Peanuts, Celery, Eggs, Soya, Milk, Sesame Seeds, Fish, Shell Fish, Mustard, and Sulphites — but street food, it appears, hasn’t really paid much attention to the changing market. That will all have to change on December 13, when the new Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU FIC) is being introduced. It’s going to  change the way allergen information appears on street food vans, trucks and trailers, and the authorities will be policing it very closely. Here is a bit of background, but — as with all things technical in the business of street food — head to the NCASS website for some practical advice over at http://www.ncass.org.uk/mobile-catering-home/articles/allergen-toolkit.