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Food allergy laws enforced in Britain restaurants

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Restaurants and takeaways in Britain will now be required to inform customers if their food contains ingredients known for causing allergies, a media report said Friday.
Staff must provide information on 14 everyday allergens including nuts, milk, celery, gluten, soya, crustaceans, molluscs, and sulphur dioxide used mainly in preserved foods and wheat, BBC reported.

The new measures, coming into force from Saturday, cover meals served in bakeries, cafes, care homes and packaged produce sold by supermarkets. Repeat offenders of the new directive may be fined.

Around two million people suffer from allergies in Britain.

About 5,000 people are hospitalised for severe allergic reactions each year, and some cases are fatal, causing an average of 10 deaths annually.

Authorities have said that the majority of these deaths and visits to hospital are avoidable, and some are a result of people being given incorrect information about food ingredients.