Charity calls for food industry to do more for those with allergies

Sainsbury’s Local, Carholme Road

Charity, ‘Allergy UK’ has expressed the importance of correct labelling and say the food industry needs to do more to keep people safe.

Carla Jones, CEO at Allergy UK said “At Allergy UK we believe that whilst those living with allergies must be vigilant on their own behalf, the broader food industry needs to do more than just the bare minimum when it comes to catering for the allergic community.”

The concern comes after a series of incidents involving incorrect food labelling. If care is not taken when listing ingredients the outcome can sometimes be fatal.

National Supermarket Sainsbury’s has recently been forced to recall a food item because of inaccurate labelling.

The Food Standards Agency issued a warning stating that the ‘Sainsbury’s Deliciously Free From, Garlic Pizza Bread’ contained traces of cheese, making it a health concern.

The recalled ‘Free From’ Garlic Pizza Bread

Those with an allergy to milk are being told not to consume the product and return it to their local store.

Nina Fairfowl, Media Relations Manager for Sainsbury’s Supermarkets said: “Our Supplier has robust processes in place to prevent incidents like this and we’re urgently investigating what went wrong to prevent this from happening again.”

Sainsbury’s is not the only store having issues with labelling as supermarket Aldi also recalled items that contained sulphites which were not mentioned on the label.

The Incidents Team at The Food Standards Agency said: “The reason for incorrect food labelling varies from case to case. It can be caused by human error, or if a recipe is updated the changes may fail to get reflected in the ingredients.”

“We are working with industry bodies to support food businesses in understanding the regulatory requirements and how to meet them.”

Issues with labelling are becoming more common, as seen last year when a 15-year-old girl died after eating a Pret baguette. She suffered from a severe sesame allergy and the ingredients on the packaging were incorrect.

There have also been reports of people finding meat in vegetarian wraps from McDonald’s chains across the country, including in Lincoln. This mistake could effect someone with an allergy to certain meats.

Statistics show that in the UK around 10 people die every year from allergic reactions to food, therefore it is crucial that items are labelled correctly.