Trading Standards Wales Week: ‘What’s on your plate?’
- Categories : Press Release
- 26 Oct 2022
Trading Standards Wales (TSW) reports that sample failures for both allergens and meat speciation are still being reported.
A year after the implementation of the new Allergen Labelling requirements to cover foods Prepacked for Direct Sale (‘Natasha’s Law’), Trading Standards authorities across Wales continue to ensure business compliance and consumer confidence by delivering a range of enforcement activities.
Throughout 2022, authorities have been providing workshops and one-to-one training with local businesses and coordinating sampling programmes to detect undeclared allergens in food. Allergens form the basis of 45% of food intelligence reports received during 2022; and sampling results indicate a failure rate of 24%. This remains unacceptable; the failure to declare allergens can be catastrophic.
The Greater Gwent Food Allergen Resource, funded by TSW and the Food Standards Agency, now provides training in thirteen languages, and is supported and hosted by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute Chartered Trading Standards Institute - YouTube. TSW recommends that all businesses take advantage of this free resource and contact your local Trading Standards authority for any further support they may be able to offer.
Recent sampling has identified:
- a 39% failure rate in meat speciation in kebabs;
- a 46% failure rate on the accuracy of the term ‘vegan’, with 43% containing meat or dairy;
- no analytical failures on crustacean, however, an identification that there are extremely low levels in some takeaway meals which should present no risk. In these instances, officers are advising that for best practice the allergenic ingredient is either declared or removed
In the midst of the cost of living crisis, TSW offers caution to consumers living with allergies. If you are switching your brand of food, do not assume the same allergens will be present in products of the same type; keep reading the labels, checking for warnings.
Similarly, businesses may be reformulating their existing products to keep costs down, so again, keep reading the labels of your commonly bought products, even if you think you know the allergens within.
Finally, subscribe to https://www.food.gov.uk/news-alerts/subscribe and https://www.allergyuk.org/about-allergy/ for information about allergies and alerts for products that are being recalled due to undeclared allergens.
For further information, please go to: https://tradingstandards.gov.wales/en/home/