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 Post subject: Risky Food
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:07 pm 
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A second young woman with a serious food allergy has allegedly died after eating food bought at Pret a Manger .

Am I alone in thinking I would be far more careful about the food I ate if I had such a life threatening condition.

Every time I bought food off the High Street or from lots of eateries I think I would have trouble swallowing.

Surely home made food only is the answer

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 Post subject: Re: Risky Food
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:41 pm 
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Location: Malvern Hills
Home made food requires ingredients , when do you trust producers and when do you just stop eating ?
If we went back to a cheese sandwich being bread , cheese and butter or nondairy spread , instead of about a dozen ingredients there would be fewer problems
One problem is that there are so many genuine reactions to food that aren't severe enough to be considered allergies , no business could hope to keep up
For example ; neither my wife or her sister can tolerate orange in any form, it literally makes them sick within minutes . My brother in law carries Piriton because he likes whitebait but reacts badly to some batches (possibly because of the fish's diet at some times of year)


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 Post subject: Re: Risky Food
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:50 pm 
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A number of people with lethal allergies have died, just in the past few months, after buying foods from chains and takeaways.

Whilst they yearn for a life as - normal - as possible, it would seem more sensible to bring only their own food, when they travel and eat out. A friend has truly severe coeliac problems (fully diagnosed) she always brings her own food.

Pret-a-Manger manipulated the law, as large companies often do, it will do their reputation no good at all. But even companies that follow each law, to the letter, cannot guarantee that minute scraps of food may get mixed and contaminated, when working in large areas with enormous quantities.

Anyone with such very serious conditions should not play Russian roulette with their health.


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 Post subject: Re: Risky Food
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:29 pm 
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Location: Kingdom of Fife
Unfortunately home made food is not always practicable, and even the food I eat at home has to be bought in.

If my supplier tells me that so meting is gluten free or peanut free I have to accept their worfd.

It's no good Pret saying they didn't know.

They should have known. They are responsible for the actions of their contractors. It's called vicatious liability.


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 Post subject: Re: Risky Food
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:54 pm 
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There seems to be an argument between Pret and a supplier over the supposed dairy-free yoghurt inside a roll. It was labelled as such, so the woman thought it safe, but somehow was contaminated either by the supplier or by Pret. Or maybe the yoghurt was fine and the roll was contaminated in some other way. Not clear whether Pret was to blame.

The girl on the flight bought a product that was not labelled with sesame. In law it didn't have to be as it was made in-store. Products brought in from factories do have to be labelled - confusing but that is the current law.
She did not ask about the product or see any obvious signage. Risky to buy it and then get on a flight, but she obviously thought it was safe. Very sad.

Pret have improved their labelling now to make it clearer, but they have gone beyond what the law insists on, so there should be a tightening up of labelling law, imo.


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 Post subject: Re: Risky Food
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:02 am 
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Not clear whether Pret was to blame.

It is absolutely clear,. They are to blame. I repeat it is called vicarious liability.

They are responsible for those working for them, whether they are direct employees or contractors. If a retailer sells you a kettle that electrocutes you when you switch it on, they are liable.

Quite apart from the food regulations, they have committed an offence under Section 3 of the Health & Safety Act, 1974, Duty of Care to Those Not in Your Employ Who May Be Affected by your Undertaking.

That is quite clear cut and unequivocal. I do know a bit about this. My Code of Practice for dealing with contractors is still published independently, with my permission, on line, twenty years after I first published it!

It was my proud boast that I was the sworn and implacable enemy of all contractors!


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 Post subject: Re: Risky Food
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:32 am 
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One of the possible causes of the presence of dairy in the 'dairy-free' roll was the yoghurt inside. This was supplied to Pret as guaranteed dairy-free by a third-party supplier of coconut milk products.

What is expected of Pret here - do they need to have all third-party products independently tested for allergens, even though the supplier says they are allergen-free?

Even if they tested a batch if this yoghurt to be sure, the next batch could be contaminated, so where does it stop? Test every batch of everything to double-check? What would be considered reasonable.


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 Post subject: Re: Risky Food
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:55 am 
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What is expected of Pret here - do they need to have all third-party products independently tested for allergens, even though the supplier says they are allergen-free?

In effect, yes, the offence is absolute.

It would be a defence to prove that you took reasonable precautions to ensure the safety pf the product - batch resting, independent snap inspection of your supplier by an accredited agency etc. What is "reasonable" would be up to the judge.

It would not be a defence to show that you had relied on inceptions by the local council or the Food Standards Agency or similar. Your procedures must be pro-active and show positive actions on your part.

Of course, any conviction of Pret would certainly strengthen their hand in any action against their suppliers. This would include loss of reputation, though in this case two incidents show their procedures were woefully inadequate and they'll be lucky to escape negligence considerations.


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 Post subject: Re: Risky Food
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:07 pm 
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Laurie - She will defend Satan's fiery pits, suggesting they are 'cool' :)

More trouble for Pret regarding their - fresh - baked every day - sandwiches.

The bread is made in Rennes, kept frozen for years, then heated just before it is filled.

Problem with that, warm temperatures make the ideal breeding ground for all sorts of nasties. As opposed to the sandwiches made and chilled, instantly.


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 Post subject: Re: Risky Food
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:57 pm 
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Loads of food outlets buy in frozen stuff though - then heat it on the premises. I guess there are rules about what temperature it's kept at and for how long etc. If they label it all as fresh it's a bit cheeky though. Some places do that and then say Ah, we mean freshly prepared on the day!

Pret are still saying their third party supplier CoYo must have supplied contaminated yoghurt to them, but they in turn are saying it hasn't been proved. Much wrangling to come I expect.

CoYo have already been found to have supplied 'dairy-free' products that contained milk though. Of course that doesn't mean they did this time. They blamed another supplier of raw materials...

So it's easy to see how a product can go from Supplier A to Supplier B...to C... etc That's a lot of stages for allergen errors to potentially creep in.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43143993


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 Post subject: Re: Risky Food
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:02 pm 
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Missed the point, completely, as usual.

The blatant message is - baked fresh - each day - in our stores -

Fraudulent contravention of trading laws.


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 Post subject: Re: Risky Food
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:35 pm 
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I thought the ASA had ruled that food labelled 'freshly baked' did not have to be baked from scratch on the premises. It could be taken to mean frozen dough that had been brought in and then baked fresh each day in the ovens in-store. It's not an unusual practice at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Risky Food
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:37 pm 
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Which bit of - baked fresh - each day - in our stores -

is difficult to comprehend?


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 Post subject: Re: Risky Food
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:39 pm 
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Which part of my previous post is difficult to understand? Here is the exact part of the ASA ruling on Pret's use of 'freshly baked' in an ad.

At the time the ad was seen we considered that consumers would be very familiar with the high street sandwich shop industry, with several national chain outlets now selling standardised ranges of products which were assembled in store but had ingredients which had been delivered from elsewhere, including products which had been part-baked off-site or delivered as raw dough and baked in-store.

Given that context, we considered that consumers were unlikely to interpret “baked in store” to mean only products that were made from scratch using basic raw materials such as flour and butter. We considered that consumers were likely to interpret it to include products which were cooked from frozen raw dough or from part-baked dough.
For those reasons, we concluded that the claims were not misleading
.

So they were allowed to advertise in that way. Frozen dough baked fresh each day, on the Pret premises. Loads of places do this to save time and money.


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