Research has revealed that two thirds of UK hospitality employees admit that they require more information about allergies.

The research, commissioned by Fourth, software provider to the hospitality industry, also showed that almost a quarter (23 per cent) are not confident about advising customers with serious allergies.

The statistics, which were drawn from 500 out-of-home food workers, comes ahead of the implementation of Natasha's Law that will make it mandatory to list all ingredients on pre-packaged produce from 2021.

It was reinforced by the results from CGA's Business Confidence Survey, a quarterly survey targeted at around 130 leaders at pub or restaurant groups.

The research revealed that 64 per cent felt that that addressing allergen procedures, protocols and staff training was either a major focus, or the biggest single challenge, for their business.

Other findings revealed that one in six employees claim not to receive regular training or updates about potential allergy issues.

When it came to staff being faced by a customer suffering an allergic reaction, just over a third (35 per cent) were able to cope because of staff training, while 31 per cent were unsure what action to take and 4 per cent admit that they panicked.

Ben Hood, CEO, Fourth, said: "This issue is the hospitality industry's cause celebre. It is clear, from the tragic high-profile customer incidents, the far-too-many 'near misses' that we are all aware of, plus this study and the inconsistent experience from venue to venue – be that a restaurant, pub, café or hotel – that action is critical.

"Clearly technology can be the linchpin in this process alongside training, standards and best practice and we are determined to support the industry to tackle this challenge head on, utilising our technology, network and expertise."

While Natasha's law is due to come into force in 2021, for packaged foods, there is currently no equivalent legislation for food dishes served direct from a kitchen in hospitality venues, such as hotels, pubs and restaurants.