Following the new allergen legislation for food manufacturing employees, Train4Academy has launched a new training package to prepare food handling staff for the laws. 

As part of the online Train4Food Hygiene programme, the company will try to help employees understand the new responsibilities expected from them under the Food Information Regulations (FIR), which come into play in December this year.

The legislation requires suppliers to label packaged food with information on 14 common allergens. It also means staff must be taught the hazards of allergens and possible consequences to customers.

The NHS estimates there are 20-30 deaths from anaphylaxis, the most severe allergic reaction, in the UK each year.

Janet Bridgewater, director of Train4Academy, said: “There’s inevitably been a great deal of focus on the start date of 13 December, when the new legislation comes into force, in terms of asking ‘will the industry be ready?’.

“What’s far more important is that operators recognise this is an ongoing obligation for all food businesses. Whether or not all staff are fully up to speed by day one, allergen awareness needs to be permanently embedded into the business in terms of training and good practice in order to comply with the law.

“Our new allergen awareness e-learning module has been developed to fit into the Food Hygiene training that is familiar to the tens of thousands of employees who use our distance learning programmes. It enables them to fit training around their work and home lives, and so is the quickest and most convenient way for employers to ensure their business complies with the new regulations.”

The academy offers discounts for bakers who book block training courses.