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Allergy notification alerts by text from the FSA

August 30, 2011 2:15 PM

Kent Trading Standards are advising consumers with food allergies to sign up to the Food Standard Agency's text alert service.

Food law recognises 14 food allergens - cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, molluscs, eggs, fish, peanuts, nuts, soybeans, milk, celery, mustard, sesame, lupin and sulphur dioxide. Food that is pre-packed must declare on the label any ingredients that are in this list or are derived from them. Occasionally foods are found to contain allergens that are not declared on the food label. By signing up to the free Allergy Alert service you can receive notifications of the latest products notified to the Food Standards Agency.

Foods sold loose or packed and sold direct to the customer by the manufacturer are not required to declare allergens in their labelling. Similarly, caterers are not required to indicate allergens. In these cases you should ask the seller direct if you need to know if a food or dish contains a particular allergen.

To sign up to the free Allergy Alert SMS service, simply send the text message 'START ALLERGY' to 62372. Texting 'STOP ALLERGY' unsubscribes you.

The initial text will be charged at your network provider's rate.

The FSA uses a third party to provide its SMS message service. Phone numbers will only be used for the purpose of sending the text messages that users have opted for. Numbers are stored on a secure database until such time as a user chooses to unsubscribe from receiving the text messages. Texts to subscribe and unsubscribe will be charged at your network provider's rate; messages you receive from the FSA are free.