Houses of ParliamentOnce again, Gordon Banks MP has tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament – this time (no. 871) to support the Food without Fear Campaign that Coeliac UK are running.

That this House recognises the importance of the proper handling of allergens in loose foods in hospitals, schools and eating establishments by chefs and caterers;

notes the recent publication of guidance by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to increase understanding with chefs and caterers and to protect consumers with a food intolerance;

further notes that 700 people in a constituency of 70,000 people have coeliac disease, equating to one in 100 people across the UK;

further notes that people with coeliac disease have an autoimmune disease and the only medication possible is a life-long adherence to a gluten-free diet;

further notes that for people with coeliac disease eating in hospital is restrictive and at times unsafe;

urges the Department of Health to improve gluten-free choices in hospitals, and urges chefs and caterers in all eating establishments to improve gluten-free choices through specific training;

calls for the monitoring of the impact of the new FSA guidance on the handling of allergens in loose foods to achieve greater understanding, awareness and gluten-free choices on menus;

and supports Coeliac UK in its Food Without Fear campaign to raise awareness and understanding of coeliac disease with chefs and caterers to ensure that eating out through pleasure or need is freed from restrictions.

How could anyone not support such a motion? Gordon Banks does great work for coeliacs here in the UK, and should be commended for his continual efforts to raise awareness of the issues at the highest political level.

83 Members of Parliament have signed this so far; please check whether your MP is one of them, and if not, drop them an email to ask why not.

Not know your MP? Visit They Work For You to find out. You may be able to contact them via this site too – not mine, though. He doesn’t do email … unlike Gordon Banks, who has his own website.