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Eating Out With Food Allergies – Greggs Bakers UK
Eating out dairy free since the new allergy law?
As many of you will know the law changed on the 13th December 2014, which means all foods sold in the UK or provided by childcare workers such as nursery’s and childminders must clearly state any of the most common 14 allergens present in the food or the staff selling/providing the food must have the allergy information to hand when asked for it by the consumer. There has been a lot of confusion around this new legislation and manufacturers are still allowed to sell off old stock which may not have the allergens highlighted in bold on the ingredient list. If you want detailed information about this new law click here: New Allergy Law 2014
After reading that food establishments could be fined if they get it wrong or are unable to provide customers with a list of allergens that the food item contains, I was excited. I naively thought this would make eating out dairy free much easier for us. I thought we would just be able to pop in to any cafe and clearly see what foods are dairy free, however in my experience it seems more and more food establishments are putting up signs to cover them from a legal point a view, for example:
On the 13th December 2014 I went into Greggs bakers at the Manchester Fort retail park. Greggs is not somewhere I would usually eat, especially since having my son and him being diagnosed with cow’s milk protein allergy. I usually assume most pastry’s and cakes will have some form of dairy in them, but we were out shopping with my mum and she fancied a sausage roll so we popped in. I thought i’d see what me and my son could have for lunch in there, seen as though the new law came into effect that day I thought maybe there is something we can have (I am also dairy free). First I looked at the cakes on the counter, I was expecting little signs in front of them with a list of ingredients or possible allergens in bold. My local Sainsbury’s and Waitrose had already put this in place in their cafes the week before. However there was no information to be seen other than this ‘lovely’ poster on the wall near the door as you walk in…
Rather than try to accommodate people with allergies or provide them with the ingredients information so they can make an informed decision about what to eat, Greggs bakers have decided to exclude them from the whole shop. I noticed a stand in the shop selling walkers crisps (various flavours) some of which do not contain any dairy but with this sign in place should we really bother spending our money here? They also have a drinks section, again many of the drinks are dairy free but because Greggs want to cover themselves legally and make their lives easier they have decided to display this sign.
I have spoken to other parents of children with cow’s milk protein allergy who have struggled eating out, more so with the new laws. I really thought the new allergy law was going to make eating out easier for us.
Please share your experiences of eating out dairy free with us whether they are positive or not we want to hear about them. You can share on our Facebook page, leave a comment below or email me at livingwithcmpa at gmail dot com, I would love to hear about your experiences of eating out dairy free since the new law came into effect in December 2014.
The Food Standards Agency provide FREE online training about the new law, so there’s no excuses for anyone selling or serving food to get it wrong in my opinion and if chefs don’t know what the food they are cooking contains do you really want to eat there???
Recently I have received a lot of questions on our Facebook page about the symptoms of cow’s milk protein allergy and I think it would be great if we can share our questions and support each other on this journey. I have created a group on Facebook so we all have somewhere we can discuss and support each other in regards to living with cow’s milk protein allergy. Please take the time to read the group description. It is a closed group so, only members can see and reply to posts.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, by using these links at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small fee which will help with the running cost of Living With Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy Blog. Thank you for your support in this way.
This blog post is about the Greggs bakers I visited in Manchester Fort Retail Park and may not represent all of Greggs Bakers.