Army: Recruitment

Defence written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of Gary Streeter Gary Streeter Conservative, South West Devon

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons the Army will not recruit a person with a known nut allergy.

Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

holding answer 14 July 2008

All Army personnel, regardless of their chosen trade, must be fit to serve anywhere in the world, in all environments and in locations where medical care may be limited or remote, and medical re-supply uncertain or impossible.

Regrettably, it is not possible to guarantee that food provided through the military catering system is nut-free. Labelling alone would not therefore provide a sufficient safeguard for an individual with a nut intolerance attempting to self-regulate their diet. Neither would it be practical to make special arrangements to accommodate people with such an allergy. It would therefore be highly irresponsible of the Army to employ an individual with such a condition.

For these reasons any recruit with a past history of food allergy is automatically graded as unfit for service, unless there is irrefutable evidence that they are no longer sensitive.

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