The treatment of allergens by the food industry has again been in the press, following the tragic – and completely avoidable – death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse and the subsequent inquest after eating a Pret a Manger sandwich which failed to list all ingredients – of which one was a fatal allergen.

Pret maintained that their labelling was compliant with the law but the attitude of food retailers towards protecting consumers has been picked up by BBC’s Watchdog programme, which recently included undercover footage of journalists going into large catering businesses.

Many businesses were found to be falling short of their legal and moral duties. The main issues are a lack of information or incorrect information being given to customers, showing a clear lack of understanding of the severity of the risks associated with allergens.

It is incredibly disappointing to see the knee jerk reaction of some businesses who, following on from the Natasha case, have taken to just slapping a sticker on all sandwiches saying, ‘May contain sesame seeds’, irrelevant of whether this is an ingredient or not or even if there was a risk of contamination or not.

Food businesses need to understand this case is not just about sesame seeds, it’s about making sure information to consumers is accessible and accurate. It’s ultimately about keeping our customers safe.

Over the last few years, many businesses have made good improvements in the control of some allergens, in particular peanuts, nuts, gluten, dairy and eggs. Free from options are increasingly common on the menu at many eateries.

However, there are 9 other allergens which are not as well understood including celery, mustard and lupin.

Currently, there is no cure for food allergies. Whilst for many people the symptoms are mild, there have now been too many cases of an unnecessary death arising from food allergies when the food business has either failed to provide ingredient information to customers or failed to treat allergens correctly to avoid contamination.

It is important that we all learn from mistakes made and take steps to protect our customers, and ultimately our businesses.

How compliant is your business? 

When was the last time you reviewed your allergy procedures? How confident are you that your staff would pass a ‘Watchdog’ test? Are you doing everything you can to protect your customers from the 14 Allergens? Do all your staff members even know what the 14 allergens are?

Allergen Training & Consultancy

If you need allergy training for your team or help with process management, I offer a half day accredited Level 2 Allergen course which can be run in house at a time and venue to suit you. I also offer consultancy services providing advice and recommendations specific to your business. Please contact me if you would like to find out more.

What Our Customers Say About Us

FB-AVAK have used GH Training Solutions several times in the past year, and have always found the courses to be interesting and informative. Ghislaine has a way of making courses fun, even when the subject matter (Health & Safety) can occasionally be a bit dry.

I would highly recommend GH Training Solutions for any business looking for staff training.

Phillip Harben

GH Training Solutions
5.0.0
2018-07-02T15:01:47+00:00

Phillip Harben

FB-AVAK have used GH Training Solutions several times in the past year, and have always found the courses to be interesting and informative. Ghislaine has a way of making courses fun, even when the subject matter (Health & Safety) can occasionally be a bit dry.
Your passion for the subject and knowledge you imparted to my team will no doubt make a huge difference as they go about passing this on to our franchisees and their team members in our stores. My team spoke very highly of their time with you and I can see the confidence boost your course has given them in this critical area of expertise

Laura Carter

GH Training Solutions
5.0.0
2018-07-02T14:55:54+00:00

Laura Carter

Your passion for the subject and knowledge you imparted to my team will no doubt make a huge difference as they go about passing this on to our franchisees and their team members in our stores. My team spoke very highly of their time with you and I can see the confidence boost your course has given them in this critical area of expertise
As an experienced trainer myself, I recognise and recommend the quality of Ghislaine's training and style of delivery, particularly the way she met the individual needs of everyone on the course and made sure that we were fully engaged and able to share our own knowledge in a supportive and positive environment.

Rod Carver - Level 3 Food Safety Attendee

GH Training Solutions
5.0.0
2019-02-01T12:23:29+00:00

Rod Carver - Level 3 Food Safety Attendee

As an experienced trainer myself, I recognise and recommend the quality of Ghislaine's training and style of delivery, particularly the way she met the individual needs of everyone on the course and made sure that we were fully engaged and able to share our own knowledge in a supportive and positive environment.
At Southern Co-op, we have worked with Ghislaine (GH Training Solutions) for several years and have continued to be impressed by her professionalism. Ghislaine communicates well, from the initial joining instructions right through to the course results, which have always been excellent. Our colleagues talk favourably about Ghislaine's teaching methods and how much they enjoy her courses which take place in a pleasant, relaxed environment.

Linda Masterman
Academy Training Manager
Southern Coop

GH Training Solutions
5.0.0
2019-04-01T18:05:56+00:00

Linda Masterman
Academy Training Manager
Southern Coop

At Southern Co-op, we have worked with Ghislaine (GH Training Solutions) for several years and have continued to be impressed by her professionalism. Ghislaine communicates well, from the initial joining instructions right through to the course results, which have always been excellent. Our colleagues talk favourably about Ghislaine's teaching methods and how much they enjoy her courses which take place in a pleasant, relaxed environment.
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