Customer fell ill after ‘gluten-free’ food contained gluten.
Wednesday 5th December 2018 @ 20:29 by Anna Fletcher
Business Royton

A garlic bread sold to a restaurant customer contained gluten despite being advertised as gluten free, a court was told.

The customer, who is gluten intolerant, was sick and suffered abdominal and chest pains after eating the food bought from Mazzo, Radcliffe Street, Royton, in May this year.

The customer had specifically asked for a gluten free portion.

On November 29 at Tameside Magistrates’ Court Tony’s Italian Limited, trading as Mazzo, pleaded guilty to two charges of selling food that was injurious to health and contained gluten, under the Food Safety Act 1990.

The company was fined £500 on each count and ordered to pay costs of £1,250 plus a £50 victim surcharge.

Councillor Arooj Shah, Deputy Leader of Oldham Council and Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “Our investigation established this incident was caused by human error but procedures must be in place to ensure there is no room for mistakes to happen.

“Allergic reactions can make people very ill. Companies specifically advertising gluten free alternatives must ensure the food they provide is safe for customers with an intolerance, or face action.”

According to the Food Standards Authority, it is estimated that 1-2 per cent of adults and 5-8 per cent of children in the UK have a food allergy.

This equates to around two million people living with a food allergy, and this figure does not include those with food intolerances.

The Food Information for Consumers Regulations require food businesses to provide accurate allergy information on foods sold unpackaged, in for example catering outlets, deli counters, bakeries and sandwich bars.

For those wanting to know more about food allergens the FSA has a free online allergen training tool which may be useful http://allergytraining.food.gov.uk/

Also, further information regarding managing food allergens can be found at www.food.gov.uk