The NFRN has urged the government not to introduce more complex food information legislation for food prepared in stores and sold on shelves, in a submission to a consultation led by Defra. We thank all our members who responded to our questionnaire and shared their experience.
Following on the tragic deaths recorded last year, Defra, the Department for Health, the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland, suggested a number of policy options to improve the provision of allergen information for food prepacked for direct sale.
We argued that the regulation should remain unchanged. Though we are sympathetic with the situation of families who lost their beloved ones, we believe that proximity is the strength of small convenience stores. From the questionnaires we received, it appears that a vast majority of our members display ‘Ask the staff’ signs in stores. Our members interact regularly with customers to answer their questions on the ingredients they use in stores. We believe that this model is efficient and should be retained.
The NFRN is willing to work with Defra to improve communication and training of retail staff. When the outcome of the consultation is published, we will discuss with the food and standards authorities to see how we can promote best practices at a store level.