In recent years food allergy and intolerance cases have seen a significant increase as the rise in food trends and fads has grown significantly. Is the public more aware because of modern food trends, or are food trends born out of people’s allergies?

The UK has some of the highest prevalence rates of allergic conditions in the world, with over 20% of the population affected by one or more allergic disorder.

We’ve seen a steady increase in food trends, which have been reflected in shopping habits and food companies providing a wider range of ‘free-from’ products including gluten-free, dairy-free and soya-free.

But are the food fads feeding the rise in food allergy cases or vice versa? And is it a bad thing?

Modern diets and environments have contributed to the increase in allergy cases in general, including hay fever, with many children not being exposed to a range of foods and bacteria from a young age. A recent study shows that the rise in baby wipes has meant babies aren’t allowed exposure to bacteria for long enough on the skin, resulting in a higher risk of allergies.

The rise in modern food fads that have been stoked by the rise in food bloggers and vloggers has contributed to the number of alleged food allergy cases, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The overall increase in awareness and understanding means that more people are aware of what they’re eating and how they might be affected by food.

While this awareness and understanding is important, the rise of food fads and ‘fussy eaters’ will affect how allergy sufferers are perceived at restaurants. Increasing your understanding of the impact food allergies have on an individual, knowing how to ensure businesses are adhering to the legal requirements, what those requirements are, what type of foods can cause a reaction and how to help someone who is suffering from a food allergy is key to a help and support food allergy sufferers as well as safeguard your business.

Me Learning is offering a 10% discount on their food allergy awareness training for Food Allergy Awareness Week to help you understand what a food allergy is, how to identify an allergic reaction, what foods are most likely to cause a reaction, and the dangers of hidden food allergens.

To claim the 10% discount, type code FOOD10 at checkout.

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