Food Allergies: Managing Them At Work
Last Updated: 3rd February 2023 · Written by Donna Mastriani
An allergy to food can be a minor problem as well something much more serious and it is a condition that affects as many as 2 million in the UK alone, according to recent research carried out by the Food Standards Agency. Whilst an acute food allergy can be a problem at home, controlling what you eat can get a bit trickier when you’re at work.
Forewarned is forearmed
If you start a new job in a new place of work and you have a serious food allergy, e.g. a peanut allergy, it is imperative that you inform your new work colleagues of the fact. If done in the right way, there should be no reason why this should be a problem and this achieves two things, right off the bat;
1. Your workmates know not to offer you any of the food,
2. If you’ve also told them of the symptoms of anaphylaxis, they’ll know what to look out for in the event of an attack.
Knowledge is King
There are a number of things that you can do to make your new workplace a safer environment for yourself, whether you were born with the condition or you have developed it later in life.
If you give your boss, or whoever deals with such things at work, some detailed written information about your allergies and more pointedly, information about how to spot the signs of a reaction, then you’ll be certain that in event of an attack, no time will be wasted by your colleagues as a result of not knowing what to do.
Another good tip is to keep an ephrenine shot somewhere safe at work that everyone knows about it and ensure that everyone is given some instruction on how to administer it.
As an Employer
If you are an employer of people in an office type workplace or somewhere that has communal food areas, then there’s plenty to you can do to protect staff with acute food allergies.
❏ You could offer training courses on allergy awareness
❏ You could give those with food allergies a different, separate place to store their foods, as well as separate cutlery, cups and plates
❏ Be understanding with illnesses related to allergies and time off for doctor’s appointments
Work shouldn’t be a dangerous place to be for anyone and with a few simple measures, bosses and employees alike can look out for each other and prevent any unnecessary problems occurring.
Getting Screened for Acute Allergies
Any type of food can, potentially, represent a food allergen, but most of those that cause anaphylaxis tend to be from a small group that includes peanuts, cashew nuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, fish, milk, eggs, shellfish and some types of preservative.
It is by no means guaranteed, but acute food allergies can develop or be passed on in the genes, so if you’re worried that you or someone you love might have this kind of condition, then there’s an easy, affordable way to find out.
Go online to our website and pay as little as £75 for a fast and simple blood screening process that will pinpoint any issues that you or they may have, before they result in the unpleasant condition that is anaphylaxis.
If you’d like to know more, our site also has a ‘live chat’ facility, through which you can talk to one of our approachable experts. If you live with this kind allergy, then you’ll know that avoiding it is certainly something you want to do and with the right information, you can do just that.