rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


The FreeFrom Eating out Awards are in progress so if you are a food service company you still have a week or so to enter. You can do so online here: .

Each year we meet to judge the entrants for foods suitable for food service and the quality just keeps on getting better and better. Apart from a huge loading of carbs because most of the products seemed to err on the side of carbohydrates, there were some fantastic products to review.

Some highlights this year for me were…

  • Flavoured crisps that were freefrom milk and celery and any other allergens
  • Gluten free fish fingers, giant fish fingers
  • Gluten free chicken goujons
  • Swiss Roll!
  • Muffins, cake, and flapjacks galore…
  • Gluten free cereals
  • Beer, no tasting is ever really complete without some gluten free beer – always a treat.

    But what about the things we would love to see but never do. Here are a few ideas that came to me.

  1. Those disappointing little biscuits you get with coffee or at the hairdressers
  2. FreeFrom biscuits at the hairdressers?

    Biscuits at the hairdressers?

    Every hairdressers seems to have them, those sawdust biscuits that come out with your tea or coffee. I do believe they might be dairy free but they do contain wheat so I can’t touch them.

    Now I don’t want to do Lotus out of business, they seem to have the monopoly on hairdressers and coffee shops but there are far nicer things to pop in the saucer. There are loads of lovely wheat free, dairy free and nut free biscuits out there. Sadly not many biscuits were entered into the foods for food service category. Two biscuits in a prepacked serving would be perfect for hairdressers, hotels, cafes etc. And while we’re on the subject of biscuits, what about cookies. Now if I can make them then I know the food manufacturing industry can. It’s not hard to make wheat, dairy and nut free cookies.

    PS. I love this photo. The moment before I got all my hair cut short, and you can see someone else behind having their hair cut too!

  3. Hotels listen up – One portion dairy free milk
  4. This is a big ask, I know. But every hotel has tea bags, coffee sachets (ghastly), sugar and those UHT milk portions.

    I dream of the day I turn up to find a cafetiere, fresh coffee and some dairy free milk, oh and perhaps a pack of ‘Nairns oats and syrup’ oat cakes. Maybe some herbal tea sachets too.

    Could there ever be a world where there could be little one portion servings of dairy free milk and not just soya, which seems to be the catch all replacement for dairy milk. Some of us are allergic to soya too you know! (does she ever stop moaning? No!)

  5. Don’t just substitute dairy with tomato
  6. Having issues with tomatoes, I can’t eat them or my skin swells and burst and liquid comes out. I know, very odd. But many of the products which are dairy free are either soya based (no good, allergic to that too) or have tomato instead. Not great for me.

    What about red pepper based sauces? It works just as well and would make a tomato intolerant allergy blogger very happy.

    I often make my own tomato free red sauce with lots of red stuff like sweet potatoes, carrots, beetroot and red peppers which once cooked and whizzed down makes a great replacement red sauce.

  7. Don’t just have soya milk – some of us are allergic to that too!
  8. Many coffee shops offer soya milk but few have any other plant milk alternatives. I know some of you do so thank you The Perfect Retreat in Chesham and PrintWorks Kitchen in London.

  9. Respect from the Daily Mail
  10. This is not likely to happen but I would rather like to hear that the Daily Mail have, for once, properly researched an article and printed something respectful and accurate about allergies and coeliac disease.

    In a week which has seen the Daily Mail write about gluten free doughnuts and battenberg being available free on NHS prescriptions – something which is definitely NOT the case, I can assure you, is it too much to ask for a bit of respect?

  11. A one stop shop to buy everything I want
  12. This week I’ve been to M&S, bought things from ilumi World and Holland & Barrett online and there are still things I’ve tried once at the Allergy Show but cannot ever find in the shops. I am ashamed to admit I also bought some Plamil chocolate and coconut oil on Amazon… it was a good price, Amazon asked me if I wanted them…

    Why do none of the supermarkets near me stock Coconut Collaboratives ice cream? or Pudology puddings? or Mozzarizella dairy free cheese? or BFree Wraps – where have these gone to? Did I dream them up at the show? They were so amazing but never seen again, not least from their own website.

What would you love to see happening that isn’t? What do you crave that isn’t readily available?



An allergy and health writer and freelance copywriter, Ruth is passionate about helping those with allergies and food intolerances take control, embrace their condition, and learn to live with and love who they are. It can be very lonely finding you have allergies and discovering what helps you can be a life long journey. What works for one person won't work for another, so after trying nearly every allergy treatment under the sun and finding hours of research necessary to keep abreast of what's going on, Ruth started writing her blog, What Allergy? in April 2009. Ruth has life threatening allergies herself to all nuts, all diary, tomatoes and celery and knows first-hand what it's like to have an anaphylactic attack. Voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK in 2011, What Allergy is packed full of interesting articles, hints and tips and product reviews which are a must read for anyone with allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, asthma and eczema. From subjects such as "What is celery allergy?" to "Surviving a holiday abroad with allergies", it's packed with useful and interesting information. You can register free for a weekly newsletter by visiting her website and also keep in touch by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

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