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Table 7 Understanding the needs of customers avoiding different allergen

From: Comparing the eating out experiences of consumers seeking to avoid different food allergens

1) ‘… there’s so many different things it [milk] could be in so that’s why I think people who work in restaurants and cafes they just sort of panic and don’t fully understand… they just assume dairy for me is cheese or butter or it’s got cream on it. Well no, it’s not the cream I’m talking about, I’m talking about the content in the scone for example or in the cake.’ (A44, FA: Milk)
2) ‘I just feel that actually some people don’t feel like it’s actually worthy of a restaurant going out of your way for it. I still don’t feel comfortable, I still don’t think [milk allergy/intolerance is] an acceptable thing to legitimately have. You think there’s a stigma attached? Yeah, I still think people have.’ (A51, FI: Milk)
3) ‘When I used to say coeliac or gluten free they would look at you a bit… now I think staff are more totally up on it. So I think in the majority of places they are told about it, I mean obviously there is nut allergies and things, but nut allergy is quite obvious, it’s nuts. When you say gluten they think “well” you know “what’s that in?”… unless you’ve come across it, I would have been the same. But I have found it much better.’ (A57, FI: Gluten)
4) ‘… things have changed and got better yet I’ve still had reactions- and of course with the growing increase of “fad diets” there is always the risk that you’re not taken seriously and you know, yeah great, “gluten free” is getting awareness these days but it’s about whether it’s the “right type”, or whether people just think it’s… you have to be taken quite seriously as a coeliac sufferer and I don’t think we are anymore. So it’s kind of swings and roundabouts.’ (A13, FI: Gluten)
5) ‘I think what the problem is particularly with the nuts is that there are so many things made without nuts and get cross contaminated, so they tend to see it as not as problematic as someone who is coeliac. I think they look at it as “oh you’ve got a nut allergy”, yes. I think there are places that don’t tend to think it’s serious.’ (P2, FA: Peanuts, Tree nuts)