Food Standards Scotland has developed a new online training tool to improve awareness about food allergens in manufacturing and catering settings.

The tool, primarily intended for local authority Authorised Officers and those working in the food industry in Scotland, comprises six modules and covers food composition and labelling guidelines, physical reactions to allergies, legal requirements with selling foods containing allergens and providing consumers with allergen information.

Food Standards Scotland’s senior enforcement manager, Dr Lynsey Scullion, said: “Allergic reactions caused by food can be very serious so it is important for businesses to be aware of their legal responsibilities when it comes to preparing and selling food that contains allergens.

“Our latest consumer survey shows one in every 10 households in Scotland has at least one person with a food allergy. Consumers with an allergy have reported that it is easier to find out information about allergens in food when making purchases in supermarkets rather than when eating outside of the home, for example takeaways, cafes and restaurants.

“This free allergen training tool will help businesses understand what they need to do in order to cater for consumers with food allergies and intolerances safely.”

Successful completion of the training carries a maximum value of three hours (core activity) for the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme.

It has also been designed so that progress can be saved and returned to at a later stage, allowing users to learn at their own pace and take advantage of any available training time.