Did you know that May 12th marks the start of Food Allergy Awareness Week? 

Food Allergy Awareness Week takes place from the 12th to 18th of May, and raises awareness about the different food allergies out there, and why it's important to be allergy aware. 

As a dedicated free from brand, we’re going to be covering all you need to know about Food Allergy Awareness Week, including our responsibilities and dedication to being a free from brand, and some facts and tips that you might not know about food allergies. 

What is Food Allergy Awareness Week? 

FACT highlights Food Allergy Awareness Week as: 

“a unique opportunity to help raise awareness of food allergies and anaphylaxis. Each of us works in our own way to raise awareness of food allergies and anaphylaxis. When we all work together and focus our efforts over the course of one week, it amplifies our message and reaches many more people than any one of us could do alone.” 

Furthermore, Food Allergy Awareness week is celebrated to “ convene allies and champions to come together and raise awareness of this often invisible but potentially life-threatening disease” (source: FARE).

We’re sure many of you will be joining us in celebrating and recognising the importance of this week! 

Why are Enjoy! food allergy aware (Chris’ story)? 

As many of you know, this is an important week for us at Enjoy! Our Founder, Chris, started Enjoy! as he was unable to eat mainstream confectionery for years due to dairy, soya and refined sugar intolerances, noting that “enjoying chocolate is one of life’s greatest pleasures and should never be compromised.” 

Free from products either tasted unpleasant, or he had a reaction to them. So, despondent at facing a ‘life of misery’ without chocolate, he decided to make his own! Enjoy! quickly moved from a small-scale kitchen to our own allergen-free facility in Hampshire - with our scale changing, but our principles always staying the same. 

How are Enjoy! food allergy aware? 

We appreciate that people can have varying responses to different foods: from a slight sensitivity, to a full-blown allergic reaction, each individual can react differently to an ingredient. 

We also recognise that food allergies and intolerances are not restricted to the 14 main allergens, as listed by the Food Standards Authority (FSA). Chris’ experience has taught us that food intolerances and allergies can occur to any food. In fact, as well as the number of allergy sufferers having grown over the past few decades, there has also been an increase in the range of foods people are allergic to (source: BBC).

That’s why we’re delighted we have opened up the joy of eating delicious chocolate to lots of people with dietary restrictions!  

Things you might not know about food allergies! 

As Food Allergy Awareness Week was coined by an American association, we thought it would be interesting to share some UK-specific facts. 

The UK faces some of the highest rates of allergic conditions in the world, with over 20% affected by one or more (source: Allergy UK). Findings gathered by Allergy UK also states that “44% of British adults now suffer from at least one allergy.” 

Regarding food allergies specifically, it’s estimated that between 1-10% of adults and children have a food hypersensitivity (source: Allergy UK). 

Unfortunately, there are no cures for allergies. Management relies on sufferers avoiding the trigger allergen and ensuring there’s an emergency plan in place. But with important weeks like this upcoming one, we hope to help draw awareness to the significance of food allergies, and how we can better manage them, and give people the opportunity to enjoy chocolate without worrying about the label.