Almost 200 food and drink industry professionals from across Wales have attended a conference focusing on the important role of allergens in food manufacturing and wider society.

The 17th annual UK Association for Food Protection Cardiff, was organised by Cardiff Metropolitan University’s ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre.

Delegates heard from a range of speakers including Lynne Regent, the CEO of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, the only UK wide charity operating solely for the growing numbers of people at risk from severe allergic reactions and anaphylaxis.

Regent said: “Robust allergen control is absolutely vital for the millions of people in the UK living with a food allergy. This conference has served an important purpose as through the right education and awareness, the food industry, health service and wider society can all help to ease the burden of people suffering from severe allergies.”

Other speakers included Nathan Barnhouse, the director of Wales for the Food Standards Agency, who provided an update on the new laws for allergen labelling in Wales which comes into force from October 2021.

Mike Woods, chief executive of Blackwood-based Just Love Foods, shared his personal story of how having two children who suffer from life threatening nut allergies led him to set up his  nut-free celebration cake company. He said: “Having children with severe nut allergies means I know first-hand how important it is for food manufacturers to take their allergen controls seriously. I hope sharing my story will provide encouragement to other Welsh food and drink professionals and highlight the opportunities available in allergen-free manufacturing.”

Professor David Lloyd, director at ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre commented: “It’s been a great privilege to bring together speakers and delegates from across manufacturing, academia and the public sector to discuss the latest research and developments in allergen control.

“Welsh food and drink manufacturers take very seriously their responsibility to protect allergic consumers; the number of people who attended this year’s conference is a clear sign of this.”

The presentations from this year’s conference will soon be available for free at: