The profile of potentially fatal food allergies has altered in recent years. The vigilance required for allergen avoidance when shopping or eating out depends on information which is often hidden or misleading. Families with allergic children suffer social exclusion and stress, made worse by a serious shortage of specialist patient care. Those who die are usually teenagers and young adults who suffer from severe allergic asthma or anaphylaxis after eating away from the home. A recognised manufacturing standard would endorse businesses seeking to remove the risk of allergen cross-contamination, whilst the integration of allergy into training for caterers and environmental health professionals would influence and inform foodservice businesses.