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Half of operators still ‘uncertain’ about allergen legislation

By Melodie Michel , 09-Dec-2014

The allergen legislation is coming into force on 13 December
The allergen legislation is coming into force on 13 December

Only one third of hospitality businesses feel 100 per cent ready for the legislation coming into force this Saturday (13 December), according to a survey commissioned by technology supplier Caternet.

In comparison, 47 per cent of managers said they had plans in place but were not sure how to cope with the changes in the future.

An alarming 20 per cent of businesses admitted not having any plans in place yet – some because they lacked the time to implement changes; others because they hadn’t even thought about it.

“It is concerning that as many as 20 per cent of companies have yet to act on these changes, it’s vital that plans are put in place, both to action the changes and manage them efficiently in the future – this won’t go away, the legislation is here to stay and as an industry we need to prepare for that and act now,” said Caternet managing director Jerry Brand.

Pressure

For 60 per cent of businesses surveyed, the most stressful aspect of the new legislation is the level of detail required to keep on top of the changes on a daily basis, while 49 per cent are worrying about the pressure it will put on teams’ workload.

Almost one third (27 per cent) are also concerned about the cost implication these changes will have on their business. 

Only 5 per cent of hospitality managers said they had no concerns at all about the changing regulations.

“It’s interesting that when it comes to adapting to change, most things come down to time and money, but our research shows that it is the physical management of this new legislation that is really worrying people right now; cost is a factor, but the big one is how do I keep on top of these changes for the long term? With the amount of information and detail involved, that can understandably seem like quite a daunting prospect,” Brand added.

Lack of information

A lack of information about the allergen legislation was previously used to explain why a lot of venues were still unaware of it or unsure which allergens were included in it.

The Food Standards Agency published guidance on the topic at the end of May 2014.