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regulations regarding allergy labelling on supermarket 'in store' bakery items?

(11 Posts)
mintyneb Mon 11-Jul-11 09:47:51

I popped into our brand new Lidl shop last week on its second day of opening. They have an 'in store' bakery which they seem very proud about and advertise it in big posters all around the store. On closer inspection, it looks like they get the bread and rolls in already made and then bake them in free standing ovens (fairly common practice I think).

Labels on the shelves say to ask a member of staff for allergy information. So I asked the man working on the section. He didn't know which bread had milk in it (there was obviously no paperwork lying around to check) so went and got a manager. He didn't know either but said he would go and find out. After a few minutes he came back and said he needed to make a phonecall.

Finally it transpired that he had checked the boxes in the warehouse and they had NO ingredients listed on them. He then rang the supplier but only got voicemail as it was late on Friday and they had probably gone home. Then he rang Lidl Head Office who couldn't give him an answer either!

he did take my name and contact details to pass up to HO so that if they eventually find out what goes in their bread they can let me know.

I am going to call their HO today to make a complaint and am tempted to call the food standards agency too to say that this store is not holding allergy information on site and so are they possibly breaking the law?

I can't find anything about loose items and allergy labelling so just wondered if any of you knew what the legal position was before I go and put my foot in it! Thank you

freefrommum Mon 11-Jul-11 13:21:28

Sadly, they currently don't have to list allergens but new EU rules are (hopefully) on their way. Have a look at this article: www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/cms/site/news/anaphylaxis-campaign-welcomes-new-rules-on-allergen-information.aspx

BalloonSlayer Mon 11-Jul-11 13:22:28

I don't know either but the Anaphlyaxis campaign have a helpline, it's on 01252 542029. They might be able to tell you.

It's frustrating, isn't it? I tend to let DS1 have the french stick from instore bakeries but I don't bother with anything else as I can't be arsed to try to get someone to find out for me. So we just stick to the bread and rolls in packets.

trixymalixy Mon 11-Jul-11 17:42:39

None of the supermarket bakeries list ingredients in them. I guess they would if they had to by law so don't think you'll get anywhere.

Sainsburies bakery was very helpful and had a folder with allergen information in it that they let me look at when I asked.

youarekidding Mon 11-Jul-11 17:49:42

Yes Sainsbos are brilliant re allergies and have a lot of main contain signs/ does contain on most of their fresh produce counters.

Last week they had some pasta thingy to try. DS wanted to so I said yes and wandered down aisle to get what I needed. The young guy said did he have a parent with him as he couldn't give it without an adults consent in case of allergies.

My DS helpfully pipes up 'oh I have allergies and an epi-pen, heres my mummy she has said I can try this' grin

The poor bloke looked petrified giving DS his pot of pasta. [hgrin]

mintyneb Mon 11-Jul-11 20:53:56

thanks for replies, guys. Youarekidding - that's hilarious, I would have loved to have seen the blokes face smile

freefrommum that's a great link, fingers crossed something is made law soon.

I did a bit more digging and found this - www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/loosefoodsguidance.pdf which suggests a voluntary code of conduct but obviously can't be enforced

balloonslayer, I know what you mean, I did say to the manager that he was probably wondering why I idn't just pick up something prepacked off the shelf, but sometimes you just don't want sliced cotton wool and would rather have something different which you can all have as a family.

I am particularly wary of bread goods now as it was a bread roll that gave DD her first anaphylactic reaction last month. Still it wasn't quite as bad as the reaction she had yesterday when DH accidentally put milk in her cereal which she had three teaspoons full of, that's another story though!

freefrommum Tue 12-Jul-11 17:55:49

Oh dear mintyned! I bet DH is feeling bloody awful sad and I'm sure you had something to say on the matter too grin

ilovemydogandMrObama Tue 12-Jul-11 18:01:42

I had a similar problem with waitrose, and their customer services insisted it wasn't legally obliged which is true, however they are obliged to give notification of allergens and milk and soya are both allergens

mintyneb Wed 13-Jul-11 09:56:59

interesting you should say that ilove. I was in Waitrose yesterday and the guy I spoke to couldn't have been more helpful! Although I knew all the breads etc had food labels on the shelf I just wanted to double check. He confirmed (quite rightly) that the labels were accurate and for me, if the label didn't say 'milk' then it was absolutely safe to buy it. I casually mentioned that another shop couldn't give me the info and he looked surprised and said something along the lines of 'but we have to..'

freefrommum, funnily enough I didn't give DH a roasting. I think he was so mortified that I think shouting at him even after the event wouldn't really have helped sad. Thank god her breathing wasn't affected like last time, I was watching her chest like a hawk and was ready to grab the epi pen and phone an ambulance. But just when i thought the piriton had worked miracles (about 25 mins after breakfast) she vomited like I didn't think it was possible to do and instantly came out in hives all over her mouth and chin. Worse was to come when her entire torso came out in an all over raised rash and massive hives on her thighs where the sick had touched. She was clawing at her skin as if it was on fire before eventually falling into another sleep. the hives on her legs took over 3 hours to go away so it was a fairly major reaction sad

I am busy finalising my notes to take to a meeting with her reception teacher at her new school to see how they are going to manage her allergy. I am now officially terrified as to what might happen come September!

freefrommum Wed 13-Jul-11 12:12:18

I feel exactly the same mintyneb. Am meeting with school nurse and reception teachers next Thursday and am busy writing copious notes about how to manage DS's allergies, what signs to watch out for etc. I keep telling myself that it will be fine but I can feel myself getting more wound up about it every day. By September, I'll be a nervous wreck! Silly thing is, he's been in nursery since last September and been absolutely fine. But there are only 9 children in nursery so it's pretty easy to keep an eye on him, not so easy in a class of 30...

babybarrister Wed 13-Jul-11 19:42:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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