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Representing all trading standards services across Wales

Greater Gwent Food Group examines the provision of food allergen information to consumers

In August 2023, the Greater Gwent Food Group, a partnership between Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen, published a report of its findings following an examination of the provision of food allergen information to consumers when purchasing non-prepacked food outside of the home.

Working together in partnership, local authority enforcement officers from across Greater Gwent investigated the adequacy of food allergen information being presented to consumers when purchasing food from a range of establishments including, pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes, schools, takeaways and mobile food businesses. 

In addition to examining the statutory provision of food allergen information to consumers, officers also undertook assessments of businesses overall food allergen management control systems, including staff training, the retention of food allergen information, and the adequacy of written records and other forms of food allergen information recording systems.

Enforcement officers visited 102 food businesses across the Greater Gwent region and found that over one-third of businesses failed to comply with one, or more of, their statutory responsibilities under UK food allergen consumer protection legislation.  In addition, one-quarter of businesses were found to be providing incorrect food allergen information to consumers.

Food businesses have a legal responsibility to pass food allergen information to their customers, either in writing or verbally.  This survey has provided an opportunity to remind businesses of the importance of providing clear, accurate food allergen information.

Photos courtesy of Bimo Luki / Louis Hansel (Unsplash)

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