Allergic Reactions (FOI)
Allergic Reactions (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 05 April 2022.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Please could you provide the following information?
How many people are believed to have allergies in Jersey?
How many people epi pens have been issued over the past 10 years? Can you break this down by year?
How many people have visited hospital because of an allergic reaction in Jersey over the past 10 years? - Could you break this down by year?
How many of those have been anaphylactic reactions? – Could you break this down by year?
How many people have died due to an allergic reaction in Jersey – Could you note the year?
How many people have had life changing injuries due to an allergic reaction in Jersey – Could you note the year?
How many people have had allergic reactions as a result of consuming food or drink in a hospitality venue over the past ten years? Could you break this down by year?
How many complaints have there been about allergic reactions from food or drink consumed in a hospitality venue in Jersey over the past ten years? Could you break this down by year?
What are the current legal requirements for hospitality venues to note items such as nuts or shellfish or gluten on menus?
What is the current advice and or compensation available for islanders who have an allergic reaction from food or drink consumed at a hospitality venue?
How many food safety investigations have been carried out by Environmental Health as a result of allergic reactions in hospitality venues?
Data relating to allergies is held on numerous information systems within Health and Community Services and there is not one core record.
Therefore, our systems are not configured in a way that will allow us to extract the details you have requested. A manual search of our records would be required in order to obtain this information. We estimate that it will take us in excess of 12.5 working hours to locate and retrieve the data in reference to your request. This part of your request, therefore, will not be processed further.
A scheduled public authority that has been requested to supply information may refuse to supply the information if it estimates that the cost of doing so would exceed an amount determined in the manner prescribed by Regulations.
Aside from taking more than the prescribed 12.5 hours, the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 does not require a Scheduled Public Authority to manipulate data in order to provide a response.
The Customer and Local Services (CLS) department does not capture patient identifiable data and does not hold information regarding the number of patients receiving an Epi-Pen or similar devices, therefore, Article 10 of Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies.
However, the following table details the number of prescriptions dispensed and the total devices supplied.
|Epi-Pens prescribed and supplied between 2014 to 2021 |
|Year||No of prescriptions dispensed||Total no devices supplied|
The following items should be noted:
- We have only provided information for the last 8 years since data prior to 2014 is not held.
- Epi-Pen is just one brand name for devices which allow patients to self-inject with adrenaline in the event of a suspected allergic reaction. There have been Epi-Pen shortages over the past few years with other equivalent devices being supplied in its place when necessary
C and D
The following table shows the number of patients who received an ‘allergy’ diagnosis from the hospital between 2012 to 2021.
It should be noted that allergy and anaphylaxis are not recorded separately in TrakCare, the hospital patient administration system.
|Number of patients who visited the hospital due to an allergic reaction |
|Year||No of patients|
The cause(s) of death is shown on a Medical Death Certificate using codes provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in their International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) document.
International Classification of Diseases: Tenth Revision
A review of Public Health intelligence records was undertaken, using the ICD-10 codes detailed below. Currently none of the deaths recorded between 2007 and 2020 indicate that the underlying cause was due to an allergy or allergic reaction.
However, the following should be noted:
• at the time of publication a number of inquests are still outstanding for deaths occurring in 2019 and 2020, therefore the cause of death details for these years has not been finalised.
• there are challenges with the coding of allergies as there are numerous codes associated with these conditions and it would be very difficult to provide details of every potential symptom code that may have arisen due to an allergic reaction.
The following table shows the ICD-10 codes included in the search of the Public Health Intelligence records.
|ICD codes included in search re underlaying cause of death|
The medical records maintained by Health and Community Services (HCS) do not specify whether a patient diagnosis or specified issue is considered to be life changing. Therefore, the information you have requested is not held and Article 10 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies.
G and H
The current system used by Environmental and Consumer Protection (ECP) was installed in 2013. We do not hold the information requested prior to this date, therefore Article 10 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies.
ECP have received 12 complaints or referrals regarding food allergens in hospitality venues from 2013 to 28 February 2022.
In order to protect the identity of individuals, disclosure control has been applied regarding the annual complainant numbers since they are fewer than five and Article 25 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied.
It is further noted that these complaints are not necessarily all confirmed cases since it is not always possible to substantiate an actual allergic reaction or whether it was caused by a particular venue.
Further information regarding substantiating suspected allergic reactions and ECP investigations can be found within the following Freedom of Information response:
Food Poisoning Allegations (FOI)
There is currently no legal requirement in Jersey for hospitality venues to highlight items on their menus which include allergens such as nuts, shellfish and gluten, although this has become common practice in many establishments.
However, a business may be guilty of an offence under Article 4 of the Food Safely (Jersey) Law 1966, if certain ingredients are still included as part a customer’s meal despite the customer issuing a specific request that these ingredients be omitted from their order.
Food Safety (Jersey) Law 1966 (jerseylaw.je)
The Government of Jersey do not provide advice in relation to compensation since this is a civil matter, therefore, this information is not held and Article 10 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies.
However, if you suspect that an allergic reaction has been caused by a hospitality venue, ECP recommend that the following are carried out as soon as possible:
- seek medical assistance if required
- contact the ECP team so that they can investigate, their contact details are included in the following link.
Registering a food business and eat safe inspections - information for businesses (gov.je)
All of the cases referred to in the table above will have received an investigation but to varying degrees. ECP deal with each complaint separately, therefore, different actions are carried out depending on the case, which may include the following:
- Seeking information from complainants
- Inspecting premises
- Reviewing previous cases
- Reviewing scientific papers
- Undertaking interviews
Article 10 - Obligation of scheduled public authority to confirm or deny holding information
Obligation of scheduled public authority to confirm or deny holding information
(1) Subject to paragraph (2), if –
(a) a person makes a request for information to a scheduled public authority; and
(b) the authority does not hold the information, it must inform the applicant accordingly.
Article 16 - A scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information if cost excessive
(1) A scheduled public authority that has been requested to supply information may refuse to supply the information if it estimates that the cost of doing so would exceed an amount determined in the manner prescribed by Regulations.
Regulation 2 (1) of the Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014 allows an authority to refuse a request for information where the estimated cost of dealing with the request would exceed the specified amount of the cost limit of £500. This is the estimated cost of one person spending 12.5 working hours in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information.
Article 25 - Personal information
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005.
(2) Information is absolutely exempt information if –
(a) it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005; and
(b) its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law.