Almost a quarter (23%) of hospitality employees are worried about advising customers with serious allergies, research commissioned by Fourth has found.

Other findings from the survey revealed that 68% of employees require more information about allergies and one in six claim not to receive regular training or updates about potential allergen issues.

When it came to staff being faced by a customer suffering an allergic reaction, just over a third (35%) said they’d be able to cope due to staff training.

“This issue is the hospitality industry’s cause celebre,” said Ben Hood, CEO of Fourth. “It is clear, from the tragic high-profile customer incidents, the far-too-many ‘near misses’ that we are all aware of, plus this study and the inconsistent experience from venue to venue – be that a restaurant, pub, café or hotel – that action is critical.”

The findings come ahead of the implementation of Natasha’s Law, which will make it mandatory to list all ingredients on pre-packaged produce from October 2021. There is currently no equivalent legislation for food dishes served direct from a kitchen.