Allergen sampling project results
April 26, 2016 Leave a comment
Suffolk Trading Standards have recently taken a number of samples to check for compliance with Allergen labelling requirements.
Samples were taken from catering establishments throughout Suffolk (including restaurants, fish and chip shops, cafés etc.) to check what information staff had or had access to and what information was displayed for customers.
The results show that about 20% of the samples taken came back as unsatisfactory (although some samples were tested for more than one allergen which may skew the results a little). We are still waiting for a few results to come back.
Suffolk was divided into 3 geographic areas –
Ipswich and surrounding area
71% of samples tested for allergens satisfactory (14 out of 20 samples)
31% had inadequate or no allergen information displayed/available
Bury and Surrounding area
88 % of samples tested for allergens satisfactory (7 out of 8)
13% had inadequate or no allergen information displayed/available
Lowestoft and surrounding area
100% of samples tested for allergens satisfactory (19 samples)
44% had inadequate or no allergen information displayed/available
From the results received to-date, there was no one allergen that seemed to be more problematic that the others, celery and gluten came up twice (the other unsatisfactory results were for milk, egg, almond and fish).
Overall, the main issue appears to be a lack of information / knowledge, something that we will be following up on with the traders involved, as all businesses should have allergen information on their menu or a notice advising customers to ask staff for details.
If you have any concerns about businesses who are not declaring allergens, or a business who would like further information on the subject, please contact us via the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 03454 040506 or check our website: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/food-allergen-labelling/