Food allergy-related hospital admissions are on the rise but new research shows many people still dismiss the condition as an unnecessary fuss

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Image: 10 million Brits suffer from food allergies

 Martin L / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / adapted / Flickr: euromagic

If you’re a parent or have spent a mere moment around a group of children, you’ll be familiar with the “nut-free” business.


For adults, navigating your way through a restaurant menu with, say, a celery allergy can be something of a minefield.


Earlier this year, a new law came into play that requires restaurants and takeaways across Europe to tell customers if their dishes contain ingredients know to trigger allergies. However, it seems we’re still intolerant of intolerances.


New research, commissioned by Holland and Barrett in time for Allergy Awareness Week, claims that an estimated 10 million people in the UK are allergic to or intolerant of at least one food.


Despite hospital admissions resulting from food allergies having risen by more than 500% since 1990, more than a third (35%) of people admit to thinking those with an allergy make an unnecessary fuss, while almost a quarter (24%) say they feel no empathy with sufferers of allergies or intolerances.


In addition, the survey of 4,000 people found that more than a half (57%) find their condition difficult to live with, while a similar number (53%) feel people are dismissive of the issue.


Lindsey McManus, Deputy CEO of Allergy UK, said: “A third of households are now affected by food allergy or intolerance, and it is well known that some allergies can be fatal.


“What this new research shows is that the public fail to appreciate the much broader extent of food allergy and intolerance, and the impact the conditions have on the lives of sufferers and their families.“