Our food poll has revealed the need for more allergen information from event organisers. Of 131 organisers surveyed, only 16.3% of specifically asked for details of potentially life threatening allergies.

“Our research shows that 84% of organisers need to be more specific and gather more information from attendees. This research demonstrates that the industry is not responding to the dangers of allergens. This puts delegates at risk,” comments Yvette Chatwin, General Manager of 30 Euston Square.  “In addition, venues and caterers prepare food based on the information they are provided.  At 30 Euston Square, we make every effort to respond to delegate needs and highlight the allergens in each of our dishes, however we must have the right information from the beginning.”

Allergens need to be taken seriously

As a venue, we already have a robust allergen processes. However we have now improved this process with our new allergen form. We now require organisers to gather more in-depth information on the 14 specific allergies ahead of an event, ensuring no last-minute requests.

Allergen stories are becoming more frequent in the news, including a recent example where an Indian restaurant failed to take note of allergens and unfortunately a young girl lost her life.  Our research supports the need for allergens to be taken seriously. Delegates need to be asked clear questions on their allergens to help venues minimise the risks.

  • Of 46 delegates who also completed the survey, when asked in an open question “do you have any dietary requirements” only 4% of respondents specifically detailed allergies.
  • When asked subsequently to detail whether they are allergic to the 14 allergens identified by government legislation, 13.62% of the same delegates detailed specific allergens.

The difference in the two above statistics demonstrates that open questions do not provide specific enough answers. They highlight that a greater understanding of the allergens legislation is required across our industry.

Yvette concludes: “Beyond allergens there are also a number of food preferences which need to be examined. These results demonstrate that simply asking do you have any dietary requirements isn’t enough.   Ultimately, safety and quality depend on effective communication between the venue management, kitchen staff, event planners and the guests themselves.”