Ireland launches food allergy SMS service

By Brian Dolan

Ireland's national Food Safety Authority recently launched an email and text messaging service that aims to inform food allergy sufferers about foods that have not appropriately labeled their products for the presence of common allergens. Warnings like "may contain nuts" or "manufactured on a line that also uses nuts" are not useful for allergy sufferers, according to the agency.

Once the authority establishes that a food product is missing the allergy information, the alerts will go out to those consumers who subscribe to the service via the authority's website -- the agency will also notify enforcement officers and the offending food businesses.

The Food Safety Authority is also seeking more information about the prevalence of food allergies in the country by conducting an online survey on its site. The current estimate is that five percent of children and three percent of adults have food allergies.

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