Mum welcomes new food allergy laws

Nicola Forrest as started a support group for parents whose kids have allergies - Isla (3)
Nicola Forrest as started a support group for parents whose kids have allergies - Isla (3)

A mum whose daughter almost died after she accidentally ate a cashew nut has welcomed new food allergy laws.

Since December 15, all 
restaurants and takeaways throughout Europe are now required by law to tell 
customers if their food 
contains ingredients known to trigger allergies.

These include nuts, milk, celery, gluten, soya and wheat.

Nicola Forrest described the reforms as “a step in the right direction to enable 
people suffering severe allergies to integrate more safely into society”. The Kirkintilloch mum’s daughter, Isla, who is now four, had to be resuscitated after suffering an extreme reaction to the ingredient when she was two years old.

Speaking to the Herald back in October, Nicola said: “Isla quickly became distressed so I phoned the GP to see if we could bring her down.

“And while on the phone 
my husband Martyn (37) brought her through and her lips had blown up and her eyes - you couldn’t even see her eyeballs.

“I hung up on the GP and phoned an ambulance.”

A shot of adrenalin improved matters in the short term, but Isla needed two more doses and a stay in intensive care before stabilising. She has now been prescribed her own adrenalin filled epipen. Nicola has now started 
a support group for other 
families in Kirkintilloch.

East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson also suffered a serious reaction after eating a biscuit.

The Equalities Minister has a nut allergy but accidentally ate a snack containing nuts at a charity bake sale in Bishopbriggs last year.

She went into anaphylactic shock and collapsed, struggling for breath.

Hospital staff kept the MP alive after she was rushed there by giving her an adrenalin injection from an epipen.

Jo is a long-standing campaigner for better support for sufferers and established the Parliamentary Group on Allergy to raise awareness of the condition.

She said:“Food allergy is a serious matter. It can mean the difference between life and death. I know first-hand how terrifying it is to go into anaphylactic shock and how difficult it is for people, especially 
parents of children with allergies, to keep a constant check on what they are eating.

“So I welcome this really positive piece of European legislation that’s sensible, easy to implement and potentially lifesaving, not only helping people here in East Dunbartonshire but when they travel, too .”