The majority of Scottish health boards and councils fail to provide training courses for the public on the risks of food allergies, new research suggests.
The Scottish Conservatives warned against “complacency” after its own research revealed 12 out of 14 health boards and 25 of 32 Scottish local authorities have no dedicated courses for the public.
Half of local authorities also reported that they have not carried out any food allergy courses for staff beyond basic induction training and 26 held no sessions for businesses beyond inspection visits.
NHS Grampian said it had delivered “awareness sessions” for staff on the issue while NHS Highland had provided courses on allergy risks for staff.
Aberdeenshire Council was one of the few local authorities to say that allergy courses were provided to the public.
The issue was raised by Aberdeen City Council during staff inductions, and Highland Council provided online courses for staff and training for school cooks.
The Tories looked into the issue following the UK Government’s announcement that it will legislate to force food businesses to include full ingredients labelling on all pre-packaged products.
Ministers took action after the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who suffered an allergic reaction to a Pret A Manger baguette.
Scottish Conservative MP Kirstene Hair has campaigned on the issue following concerns raised by a family in her constituency of Angus.
Ethan McColgan, who is 15, suffers from a severe nut allergy. He is one of an estimated two million people across the UK who have food allergies.
Ms Hair said; “These figures suggest a risk of complacency on the part of Scottish health boards and councils when it comes to food allergies.
“There was a huge amount of media coverage on this following the horrendous case of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse.
“But public bodies must also be pro-active in getting the safety message across to members of the public, to local businesses in the food industry – and indeed to their own staff.
“The figures also expose a lack of consistency among health boards and local authorities across the country, which suggests there is no clear national strategy to tackle this vital issue.”