Trading standards are warning restaurants and takeaways to take extra care when preparing food after samples of meals for customers with egg allergies were found to contain unsafe levels of egg protein.
Derbyshire County Council trading standards officers took samples from 12 Chinese takeaways across the county and tests found that in some cases the meals contained levels of egg protein 470 times the considered safe level for an egg allergy sufferer. If eaten, the meals could have potentially caused a severe reaction.
Trading standards officers carried out the random tests following a number of high profile incidents nationally, which have led to the hospitalisation or, in some cases, the death of allergy sufferers.
When tested, 10 of the 12 meals were found to contain egg protein in excess of what is considered a safe level (0.03mg). The 10 samples were found to contain between 3mg and 14mg.
The 10 takeaways have received warnings and will be visited again by trading standards. Due to the high failure rate in the samples taken, trading standards officers are reminding all restaurants and takeaways across the county to be aware of the importance of good allergen controls, as even a minute amount of an allergen such as egg, milk or peanuts, could be potentially very serious to someone with an allergy.
Businesses convicted of supplying unsafe food can be fined or receive a prison sentence.
Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Communities, Councillor Carol Hart said:
It’s really important that all food outlets stick to strict rules and ensure that people are being served what they have asked for.The consequences to people unknowingly eating food they are allergic to can be really serious and consumers must be able to have full confidence in what they are buying.
Councillor Hart added:
Although I’m sure most takeaways and restaurants do abide by the rules, our tests showed a worrying failure rate. That’s why we are sending out this warning to all businesses selling food and why we’ll be continuing with this work to ensure businesses are following all guidelines and protecting consumers. There’s lots of information available for consumers and businesses on the council’s website, and if people want to find places that specifically pledge to offer allergen-free food they can also search our Heart of Derbyshire pages where there is a wide range of restaurants and takeaways listed.
Derbyshire County Council have recently updated their information for businesses and the public around allergens. It’s been translated in to a number of languages.
You can also find more information here: