Government funding will help develop food allergen technology

Wakefield Council has been given the green light to develop a “unique” technology to help businesses improve protection for customers with food allergies.

The Council has been awarded a £66,259 Government grant from the Pioneer Fund to develop an interactive tool for small and medium sized food businesses.

It will help them cut the risk of food being cross-contaminated, which is a potentially life-threatening risk for people with allergies.

The technology would be the first of its kind – and free for businesses to use – helping them to distinguish between controlled and uncontrolled cross-contamination of food allergens. It would improve awareness of how to manage the risks that allergens pose.

Businesses in the Wakefield district and beyond will be able to receive training, and learn what they can do to provide clearer information to consumers.

Councillor Jack Hemingway, cabinet member for climate change whose portfolio also includes environmental health, said: “We are really pleased to have secured this funding, to develop this innovative technology.

“Sadly, food allergies can have very serious consequences, where people have lost their lives, and it is very important that businesses have access to the tools that will enable them to reduce the risks and keep customers safe.

“We hope business in our district and across the UK, will benefit from the technology, which when ready will be free to access. And this will help customers feel safe and confident in their food choices.”

The project has been made possible by a grant from the £12m Regulators’ Pioneer Fund launched by the Government’s Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The fund enables UK regulators and local authorities to help create a UK regulatory environment which encourages business innovation and investment.