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  • Writer's pictureMeyrick Consulting

Why food labelling really is a matter of life and death

’ve written about food labeling before but it seems the problems never seem to disappear.

Do you want bits of meat in your fruit juice?

Just last month Marks and Spencer were left reviewing their policy regarding fruit juice when vegans challenged them. It was discovered that beef collagen was present in M&S fruit juice. As part of their Superwater product range it was shown to contain 20% hydrolyzed beef collagen. Surprising eh?

Blame protein trends

If you are wondering just why you’d have such a thing in water then it’s down to consumer demand. Honestly. Apparently there’s a call for protein-based drinks just in case that trend had passed you by. What ever happened to drinking water without watermelons and bits of cow?

Should every product come with its own book attached?

This issue is also interesting because the collagen content was on the label, so the seller wasn’t contravening anything. However, it was not clear enough, especially for vegetarians and vegans. Therefore, you may well label all ingredients but that may not be the end of the story. Taking of which I wonder if we may well have small leaflets attached to our foodstuffs in future therefore covering all bases. Would you read them? What do you think? You can read more about this story on the Food Manufacture website.

The FSA makes its recommendations

In another unseasonal cold week we can report that the FSA have also stated restaurants should list every ingredient in their food to avoid confusion and also allergy deaths. These are the recommendations they are making to ministers so the law will be changed.

What will the new recommendations mean for restaurants?

  1. All 14 major allergens should be highlighted

  2. This now includes outlets where food is prepared on the premises

Is this food labeling furore an over reaction?

If you consider thatthe Food Standards Agency statistics show 10 people die through food allergies every year then it’s a real concern. You probably know people who suffer from allergies of one sort or another. In fact 8% of children and 2% of adults have serious allergies ranging from eggs, dairy, shellfish, nuts and seeds and even artichokes. Therefore it is not a burden it is a social responsibility. After all, you want to know exactly what you are going to put into your body in advance and be certain that what you read is correct? Would you agree?

What’s the problem with food labeling?

Researching this article I have spoken with many people about labeling and one of the biggest complaints is the lack of clarity. Diabetics are particularly critical of the difficulty with labeling. One of the main gripes is the choice of portion sizes that differ from packet to packet. This means that comparison of sugars present becomes complicated. Many also say that ingredient lists can be inaccessible and also extremely difficult to read. Others resent the “low fat’ tag as often the lack of fat is compensated for by an increase in sugar. Certainly packaged foods and eating out can be a minefield but isn’t it time we really took labeling seriously and tried to standardise labels to make it easier for the consumer? Or do you think we should return to eating things that are unprocessed and grown locally thereby simplifying our diets? Is that where we are heading? What’s your opinion? Is it hard for you managing a food allergy?

Recruiting agile staff to cope with increasing demands is a key consideration

These are just a couple of the concerns the food industry is battling with at present. We know that the future will only become more complex and therefore the industry itself needs to be agile, flexible, intelligent and creative to meet increased demand. Therefore if you are looking to recruit staff and want to find the very best then it might be worth hiring a professional that understands the industry and has the experience and knowledge to find the right people to accept present and future challenges. If this is of interest then do give me a call for a no obligation discussion on +44 7793 526078. On the other hand you can Click Here to schedule an appointment directly with me to suit your needs.

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