Well, yes, I suppose so

Lidl is recalling packets of peanuts because it doesn’t say ‘peanuts’ on the label

Vitally important, yes?

The Food Standards Agency said: “Lidl is recalling Milbona Fruit Yoghurt because it contains milk which is not mentioned in English on the label.

“This makes the product a possible health risk to anyone with an allergy or intolerance to milk or its constituents.

“Lidl is recalling Alesto Honey Peanuts because peanut is not mentioned in English on the label. This makes the product a possible health risk to anyone with an allergy to peanut.”

Hmm. You mean that the name, in large letters, “Alesto Honey Peanuts” is not a sufficient hint that it contains peanuts?

Wonko the Sane is presumably still outside the asylum?

32 thoughts on “Well, yes, I suppose so”

  1. Food labelling requirements are precisely that. A requirement to label everything that goes into the product. My wife’s business is cake manufactory and retail. Ensuring the labelling is correct is essential, it takes a lot of her time. Small business, big cost/effort.

    Lidl/Milbona are big businesses. If they can’t spare the time/ energy/ money to comply with the fucking law then tough shit. The Food Standards Authority should hold them to exactly the same standards as small businesses. The fine should be proportionate to turnover. 10% for example. That should get their attention.

  2. @Bloke in Japan – please can you explain to me how a pack of peanuts can NOT contain peanuts?

    I agree that if you include milk / nuts / etc in a cake then you should list them as not all cakes include these items..

    Peanuts always contain peanuts – just like yogurt always includes milk – as does cheese (well the edible versions at least!!)

  3. Very strange, because I’m sure I’ve seen that product in Lidl, here. So “Alesto Honey Peanuts is sufficient indication of peanuts for the Spanish. Despite the Spanish for peanut being cacahuete. S’pose the picture of a peanut on the packaging might be a clue? And the Spanish not being particularly dim, of course. Unlike….

  4. Bloke in North Dorset

    BIC,

    A friend’s vegetarian daughter used to be able to eat beef crisps but not cheese and onion. (I think it was Walkers, but may have been another brand)

    The name of the product doesn’t appear to require that product to be part of the contents.

  5. If the packaging is primarily in English, then yes, bureaucracy contains arseholes.

    If they’re flogging them in German/Spanish/whatever packaging, maybe not so obvious.

    It’s a pity the journos didn’t see fit to clarify this point, but then the Media is full of arseholes too…

  6. The majority must accommodate the minority, you know.

    BiJ, I consider your attitude backwards, cause Lidl can comply with anything; your wife’s business can’t.

    ‘The Food Standards Authority should hold them to exactly the same standards as small businesses.’

    The FSA should be disbanded; for sooner or later, they’ll get your wife’s business.

    Fascist dirigisme will eventually destroy the little guy.

    The responsibility for managing food allergies should be with the people who have the food allergies, not everyone else. No one is compelled to eat Lidl nuts and yogurt.

  7. Is a “honey peanut” the same as a peanut? After all, “mock turtle” soup doesn’t contain turtle.

    The yoghurt one is reasonable: there probably are people so dim that they don’t know that yog is made from milk.

  8. Note that peanuts are not nuts. This may sound nuts but botanically, it is a fruit, and I’m not a fruitcake.

    Another problem is that peanuts are packaged with the same machines that are used for packaging nuts. Because some people are very allergic to nuts but not peanuts, it is appropriate to label a peanut bag with a warning: “May contain traces of nuts”.

    Because it does not contain nuts, but it contains traces of nuts, enough to kill someone who enjoys peanuts.

  9. I don’t need stories like this telling me how well my taxes are spent when I’m deciding when to return to work from holiday in Spain.

    You can see in Spanish supermakets btw that the Spanish fishermen don’t have to dump ‘bycatch’ back into the sea.
    Every week you’ll see juvenile versions of the main selling fish bundled together and called fish soup mix.

    Brussels makes the rules, Germany & Britain obey them, Britain gold plates them (fuckwits)

  10. BiND – Should have clarified…

    I understand that cakes, ready meals, crisps, etc can contain other things hence they may need labeling – thought people would be able to extrapolate from the cake example – should i list all of the possibilities? Mustard can be another one hidden in a lot of things, as can gluten – a lot of sausages are not suitable for coeliacs!

    Has anyone ever found a pack of peanuts that don’t contain peanuts? How about english mustard – does that need clarification it may contain mustard? a carton of eggs may contain eggs? when you are selling the base product itself you should be safe to assume it contains what is says!

  11. dearieme – as someone without any allergies i don’t ever tend to read ingredients and don’t really care what things like mock turtle soup contain – i will eat them and see what i think…

    However, if you have alergies and are unsure you should avoid… my ex mother in law is a coeliac and you’d be amazed at the number of things she has to avoid that you would never think contain gluten – the simple fact of life is there are alternatives to these, you are not forced to eat them…

  12. If the English weren’t so crap at furrin languages the UK would be empty.

    Damn you English for being the lingua franca, damn you to hell!

  13. I bought some sleeping tablets prior to flying out to Australia.

    Helpfully, there was a warning on the back of the packet saying that they “may cause drowsiness”.

  14. Bloke in Corrnwall

    @Bloke in Japan – please can you explain to me how a pack of peanuts can NOT contain peanuts?

    Simple. It doesn’t matter what it says on the front of the packet. All ingredients have to be listed on the “list of ingedients” on the back of the pack. If they are not listed, the company is in breach of the law. It doesn’t matter how fucking stupid this is, the law is the law and you are required to comply.

  15. You are all fucking barking. Labelling regulations require labelling of the product. “Contains peanbuts”, “may make you drowsy” are the result of labelling regulations. Stupid or not these are required by law.

    Break the law and if you are Pandora (my wife’s business) you go bust. If you’re Lidl a nice dinner, a little squeezing of the flesh and a visit from a “diversity consultant” will see you through

  16. A friend’s vegetarian daughter used to be able to eat beef crisps but not cheese and onion.

    There is (a tiny amount of) real cheese in (decent quality) cheese and onion crisps. Cheap cheese, so made with non-vegetarian rennet. So non-vegetarian.

    There is no beef in beef crisps (of any variety I have come across). Therefore, usually (unless there is some unusual ingredient) vegetarian.

    Back when I worked for a large organisation, one of my deputies was a strict vegetarian. So enough pub lunch / post-work beer conversations included this sort of info.

    It doesn’t matter how fucking stupid this is, the law is the law and you are required to comply.

    Indeed – as the crusties are still insist Byron Burger shouldn’t have.

    And as an individual, if you think the law is sufficiently stupid, you can complain, campaign or take the piss (labelling packets of peanuts something like “peanuts 98% – ‘Duh!'” in bold writing might be a ‘nudge’. Although Im not sure our politicians are capable of reading competently. As a company – obey the law and campaign if it is materially affecting your business.

    As an aside – we need to remember that it was our new PM who, as Home Secretary, ensured that the promised “Great Repeal Bill” was watered down in to the much less wide-ranging “Protection of Freedoms Act”.

  17. The name of the product doesn’t appear to require that product to be part of the contents.

    I believe the rule is that, if an ingredient is included in the label’s illustration then it must be a major part of the product. Which is presumably why Sunny Delight does not have any reference to oranges on its label.

  18. Gamecock – the responsibility does lie with those of us who have allergies.
    We do everything possible to avoid the trigger and its not helped by companies not mentioning something.
    You and I know that certain named items contain the item concerned – its when the allergen isn’t named that extreme care has to be taken. The way to make sure that all allergens are named on packaging? Make sure that all allergens are named on ALL packaging. Even when its bleeding obvious.

    A severe allergic reaction can kill. In about 10 minutes and not a pleasant way to go. Your skin itches horribly, swells massively and your throat closes…. at that point you have as much time left alive as you have oxygen in your system, mouth to mouth will not work. And you darn well know it.
    First time that happens is darn scary. Its still scary a dozen times later…
    Like it or not the labelling of food will have saved a number of lives and avoiding considerable problems for individuals.

  19. Government has very few legitimate responsibilities. One of those is to maximise the quality and quantity of information that enables well functioning markets and maximises consumer welfare.
    So hurrah for nuts may contain nuts.

  20. “Will those with toad allergies avoid toad-in-the-hole?” Or at least leave the toad and eat the hole.

  21. In middle age my stomach decided to become intolerant of any more than two or three Brazil nuts. Apparently they contain an enzyme that can have this effect. There’s no mention of it in WKPD; I chanced cross a reference to it in a book by Jim Watson. Unfortunately it’s from an American publisher so the index is lousy and I can’t easily find the reference again.

  22. “Henry Crun

    pjt, peanuts are neither nuts nor fruit. Peanuts are legumes.”

    Really? I always thought peanuts were insects. Like whales are.

  23. A severe allergic reaction can kill. In about 10 minutes and not a pleasant way to go. Your skin itches horribly, swells massively and your throat closes…. at that point you have as much time left alive as you have oxygen in your system, mouth to mouth will not work. And you darn well know it.
    First time that happens is darn scary. Its still scary a dozen times later…’

    I think you are only allowed to die once.

    ‘Like it or not the labelling of food will have saved a number of lives and avoiding considerable problems for individuals.’

    NFW. Government mandated labeling represents faux protection. If the next thing you eat can kill you, then you better be processing your own food and leaving yogurt and all other prepared foods alone.

    And that your central government has the power to force labeling of food should scare the hell out of you.

    That dirigisme might have a good result is not validation of dirigisme.

  24. > You mean that the name, in large letters, “Alesto Honey Peanuts” is not a sufficient hint that it contains peanuts?

    If that Telegraph story is about the same item as this Sun story, the name is not “Alesto Honey Peanuts”, it’s:
    Alesto
    Cacahuetes / Amendoism
    tostadis con miel / torrado com mel

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1526899/lidl-recalls-packs-of-honey-peanuts-that-dont-list-nuts-in-allergy-information/

    Likewise the yoghurt packaging is in foreign too.

  25. Bloke in Costa Rica

    “So,” I said, “not many people know this, but peanuts are not nuts, they are legumes!” She smiled nervously and held her wine glass close to her chest. “Furthermore, bananas are, strictly speaking, a berry!” Her eyes flicked over my shoulder, to no avail. The bit now firmly between my teeth, I vouchsafed that whereas all nuts were fruits, the converse was not true. “Nuts have an indehiscent ovary wall, you see. Almonds and pistachios are seeds, not nuts!”
    “That’s fascinating, Mr Murphy,” she murmured. “Is that Prem Sikka I see over there? I really must have a word.” And with that she was gone. Candidly, the finer points of botany are wasted on some people.

  26. “I think you are only allowed to die once.”

    I’ve done it once. Does that mean I don’t have to do it again?

  27. While most only die once, more than a few can be dying multiple times.

    My allergy is not food and cannot be entirely avoided. Have had 2 allergic reactions today – luckily both mild. I’m stabilised, average just 1 severe reaction a year because I take steps to reduce risk. Dozens of mild and moderate reactions but they don’t require an ambulance or an epipen.

    I have friends with food allergies – even making own food does not stop risk, merely reduces risk if there was no labels on packaging. People with allergies are not paranoid, they do tend to be extremely risk averse. And can still be killed – as a recent court case had it, someone used cheap ingredient and killed a customer.

  28. ‘And can still be killed – as a recent court case had it, someone used cheap ingredient and killed a customer.’

    Exactly. Are you going to trust your life to some stupid label?

    And . . . you have no right to consume processed foods. If processed foods are a threat to you, DON’T EAT THEM. Demanding government force processors to put labels on their products is suicidal. In 2 ways.

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