Ruling out adverse reaction

LOKANTA RESTAURANT   Ruth and Faruk Gunay at the Lokanta restaurant, Broomhill.  19 January  2010
LOKANTA RESTAURANT Ruth and Faruk Gunay at the Lokanta restaurant, Broomhill. 19 January 2010

New regulations, to be introduced on Saturday, should make it easier for anyone with a food allergy to dine out.

But the EU rules – which require fresh food outlets to list allergens present in their dishes – puts new responsibility on cafés and restaurants.

Turkish Lokanta in Broomhill is among those that have already brought in new practices to deal with the change.

Ruth Gűnay, who runs the restaurant with husband Faruk, says: “As a small family-run business we’ve always operated on the basis that customers should tell staff if they have any allergies or intolerances. As everything is made in-house we can often tailor a dish to suit.

“The new law has given us a framework to create a proper system for keeping the information up to date for all menu items.

“Working with our chefs we’ve reviewed our menu for all the 14 allergens covered by the legislation and created an easy-to-access written record.”

Common allergens include gluten, seafood, nuts and dairy products – all of which are covered by the new Food Information Regulations.

From December 13 details of these must be clearly listed on a menu, chalkboard or information pack and staff must be aware of them.

Ruth adds: “We’ve found becoming fully compliant a very useful exercise and customers have been impressed with our response.”

Lokanta, in Glossop Road, celebrates its fifth birthday next week and has been recommended in the Good Food Guide for four consecutive years.