The story of 15 year old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died after having an allergic reaction to sesame in an unlabelled sandwich, has sparked concerns about food allergy labelling in cafes. Natasha ate a sandwich from popular sandwich chain Pret-a-Manger, which was not labelled thanks to a loop hole in the current food labelling regulations, and suffered a reaction shortly after. People are now calling for the regulations to change to cover all food outlets and many cafes have agreed to change their labelling.
But just this week new concerns have been sparked for people with gluten allergies after blogger Becky Sheeran shared her concerns with her followers after falling ill from a meal at popular restaurant chain, Wetherspoons. Becky, from the Talk Becky Talk YouTube channel suffers from Coeliac Disease meaning gluten can make her severely ill. She warned her followers that the chain’s supposedly gluten free halloumi fries actually contain gluten due to cross contamination during cooking and this raises questions about what other cross contamination may be occurring in Wetherspoon’s kitchens.
We have been speaking to students from Lincoln this week about their experiences of having allergies while at university and finding out which are the best restaurants for people with allergies here in Lincoln. After an appeal on Facebook several students got in touch with LSJ News to tell us about their experience.
“Being a coeliac is the worst!”
Cath Neville, 21 is a psychology student at The university of Lincoln. She says being coeliac is really difficult.
“I have to have separate pans and toaster and can’t share any communal kitchen items because of cross contamination. Gluten Free food is so expensive too, a food shop for my friends is about £20 but for me its £40.”
She added that some restaurants are better than others for providing gluten free food.
“My flat mates have been really considerate”
Hannah Peacock, 18, is a drama and theatre student at Lincoln and has Coeliac Disease. Hannah recommends several restaurants in Lincoln which have good gluten free options.
“Wagamamas is really good in Lincoln, they have a special GF menu and the manager usually comes to speak to you to check your requirements. A lot of the tea shops up the hill have at least one or two options and Madame Waffle is good because the do GF waffles.”
She also said that things are made easier thanks to her understanding flat mates.
“They always make sure their food is sealed and are aware of making sure no cross contamination occurs.”
“They don’t care if they trigger a reaction”
Not everyone is as lucky as Hannah though and Teigan Baxter, 20, a maths student said her house mates are not considerate of her allergies.
“I am allergic to several nuts, peanuts, hazelnuts and pecans and I’m intolerant to gluten and soy. My housemates are very inconsiderate of my allergies, they still bring things into the house and don’t care if it triggers a reaction.
Molly Cooper, 22, a student from Bishop Grosseteste University in the city tells LSJ News about her gluten allergy and what it means for her.
Do you have an allergy? Have you found any particularly good restaurants for people with allergies?
Let us know by commenting below.