The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched a new card system to help diners with food allergies when eating out in restaurants.
The Chef Card, which can be downloaded and printed off from the FSA website, is credit-card size and sees diners fill out a list of foods they are allergic to and then hand it to restaurant staff on arrival.
Front of house then pass it on to the kitchen, enabling the chef to avoid using ingredients the customer can't eat.
According to the FSA, 10 people die of allergic reactions to food every year in the UK, with many more ending up in hospital.
"In most cases, these reactions are caused by something eaten in a restaurant or from a takeaway," an FSA spokesman said.
"It's very important for all caterers to be aware about food allergy and to take it seriously. Chef cards are a simple and effective way to help people with allergies communicate clearly which foods they are allergic to."
Toby Gritten, chef-proprietor of the Pump House in Bristol, welcomed the Chef Card.
"It's a really good idea. So often people with allergies struggle to communicate their intolerances effectively and information can get lost," he said.
By Kerstin Kühn
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