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Allergy deaths prompt campaign for young people in Norfolk to ask questions when buying food

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died after she fell ill on a flight from London to Nice after eating a sandwich at Heathrow Airport. Pic: Family Handout/PA Wire

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died after she fell ill on a flight from London to Nice after eating a sandwich at Heathrow Airport. Pic: Family Handout/PA Wire

Young people in Norfolk are being encouraged to ask about allergens when buying food, after figures revealed up to 8pc of children could suffer from a food allergy.

Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council's communities committee. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council's communities committee. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

The potentially deadly consequences of allergies have made headline news recently. An inquest is, this week, under way into the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15.

She collapsed on a British Airways flight from London to Nice in July 2016 after suffering a fatal reaction to a Pret A Manger sandwich.

The inquest has heard how the teenager, from Fulham, in west London, suffered from numerous allergies and reacted badly to sesame seeds in the bread.

Research by the Food Standards Agency has found young people aged 16 to 24 are most at risk of suffering an allergic reaction as they often do not feel confident to talk about their allergies.

So, Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards department is encouraging young people to ask about allergens when ordering food.

The law requires that all food businesses must provide information about the allergenic ingredients used in foods sold or provided by them.

Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee, said: “Every year approximately 10 people die in the UK after suffering a reaction to something they have eaten.

“So it’s really important that we give young people the confidence speak up about allergens whenever they are eating out, whether that’s at a takeaway, restaurant or even buying a snack from a shop.”

Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards recommends when eating out to always remember:

1. Always ask about allergies

2. Speak up

3. Keep safe

Further information about allergens can be found at www.norfolk.gov.uk/allergens

The council’s ‘ask about allergens’ campaign started this week at the University of East Anglia’s Fresher’s fair, where officers were on hand to offer information and advice for students on allergens.

If you find a business that cannot provide allergy information, this can be reported to Norfolk Trading Standards via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer.

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