Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has launched a new online allergen training tool to support food businesses and give their staff a better understanding of food hypersensitivities.
The Advanced Online Allergen Training will also help businesses get to grips with the legal requirements for providing ingredient and allergen information to consumers.
Originally developed by the Greater Gwent Food Group, the Food Standards Agency and Trading Standards Wales, the tool has been adapted for use by FSS and is made up of five separate video sections: Food allergies explained, rules and regulations, providing allergen information, allergen management and your responsibility as a food business.
Its launch follows on from the recent nationwide Coeliac UK Awareness Week and Allergy Awareness Week campaigns.
Abigail Purkis, Enforcement Delivery Project Manager with FSS explained: “This advanced allergen training builds on our existing FSS Online Allergy Training by providing food businesses with a more detailed and in-depth look into allergen management within catering environments.
“The training is interactive and easily-digestible with a presenter that takes the user through each section in video format, and can be paused and resumed at any time.
“Due to the severity of the risks associated with food allergies, non-compliance with allergen management can have serious and sometimes fatal consequences.
“It is therefore extremely important that food businesses and their staff understand how to manage allergens within their business.
“This training tool can help businesses to achieve this, ensuring they are providing a safe environment for their customers in terms of food allergies and intolerances.”
Each of the five video sections addresses a range of topic areas, including what it is like to live with a food allergy, food labelling laws in Scotland, and the potential consequences when things go wrong.
The tool is free to use and can be completed in around two hours.
Once all sections have been completed, the user will receive a validated Certificate of Achievement by FSS, provided they achieve a pass mark of 80 per cent or higher in the final quiz, which can be added to their training records.
Cheryl Graham, Environmental Health Officer at Renfrewshire Council, believes the online tool can be of real benefit to businesses.
She said: “Overall I thought it was a very comprehensive resource that gave clear and concise information to businesses.
“I liked the use of videos that would appeal to people with different learning styles.
“I particularly liked the section covering Megan’s story as it explained so clearly the human aspect of businesses failing on their legal obligation.”
To access the tool, please visit Advanced Online Allergen Training | Food Standards Scotland