White paper on UK foodservice supply chain highlights allergen concerns

A study commissioned by UK foodservice solutions company, Trade Interchange, indicates more needs to be done in the foodservice and hospitality sector to prevent cross contact of allergens in the supply chain. The company, which offers software for automating collection and use of supplier information, instigated the survey to better understand awareness around allergens in the supply chain among those working in the foodservice and hospitality industry.

The survey included 225 professionals who are directly responsible for managing food and drinks suppliers. Almost 90 per cent of respondents believed “more should be done to mitigate the risks of allergen contamination in the supply chain”.

Trade Interchange says their study showed three quarters of hospitality professionals believe there should be an increase in the number of allergens included in the list of 14 allergens requiring labelling under EU law. They refer to a recent survey by the FSA and Allergy UK that found 28% of those with an allergy were affected by a substance or ingredient outside of those needing to be labelled. Among these are less common allergens such as kiwifruit, strawberries, stone fruits, bananas, coconut, garlic, peas, lentils, citrus and chicken.

A quarter of survey respondents think allergens are the most pressing issue in the foodservice and hospitality supply chain, yet they report the majority of operators are still using manual systems to document supplier information.

Trade Interchange suggest the supply chain problems are continuing to grow as supply of food and drink ingredients becomes more concentrated among fewer but larger suppliers, who source through increasingly complex global supply chains. This means that when one supplier has a problem, it can affect many more products and consumers than in the past.

The white paper “On High Alert: Allergens in the Foodservice and Hospitality Supply Chain” can be accessed here.