Source: NHS



Recently there have been several incidents relating to allergens in hospital food reported. The consistent themes are lack of information and/or communication regarding food allergens present in the food and/or details of the patient’s known food allergy.



  1. Review menus to ensure allergen information is clear, consistent and in line with current legislation
  2. Review systems to ensure that correct labels/allergen information are applied to the actual food item as well as on the menus
  3. Ensure all staff involved in the preparing and serving of food have the training to the appropriate levels in allergen management
  4. Work towards default labelling (e.g. everything labelled as either ‘does not contain nuts’ or ‘may contain nuts’ or ‘contains nuts’)
  5. Ensure there is clear information available throughout the organisation advising those suffering from food allergies about who to inform and how
  6. Use any accepted standardised abbreviations for allergens on menus (e.g. GF). If there isn’t one, be clear and spell it out in full with bold
  7. The organisation must report any food allergy-related patient safety incidents via their incident reporting systems. Ensure any incidents involving food allergens, are investigated and any learning identified is communicated to others and relevant actions taken, regardless of whether actual harm has been caused
    8. Review current policy on allergens and ensure it has guidance on controlling risks that may present at charity fundraising food events e.g. bake sales.


Action by

  • Director of Estates and facilities
  • Directors of Nursing
  • Dietetic Teams
  • Catering Managers
  • Facilities Managers
  • Head Chefs.


Deadlines for action
Actions underway (e.g. added as agenda item to a relevant meeting): 12/02/2020
Actions complete: 12/08/2020

» Click here to read more about the EFA alert

» Click here to read the NHS England and NHS Improvement guidance