New food laws - are they for supermarkets?

For many years I have tried to get lists of ingredients from Morrisons supermarkets for their hot food counter and their salad counter - only to be told the staff didn't know and to contact customer services - this I did both in store and via email, all to no avail. The new law I thought would give me a different result - it did slightly, but I still didn't get real answers about products that were not obvious.

At the salad bar - which contains about 20 products there were no labels. I asked staff for information as the new law said ingredients should now be available for their products. I was informed I can ask about each product individually, a member of staff will go off to print off that piece of information to hand to the customer -clever for a busy Saturday! How about I want to know about all the products - why can't it be labelled up for all to see? Staff are following procedure set by Morrisons.

The sticky labels received list ingredients - followed by a good get-out clause; "May contain other allergens".

I don't suppose an email to customer services will work - they have never answered before - so why now?

11 Replies

  • Hi Purplehaze,

    My understanding of the new labelling law is that wording such as 'may contain other allergens', can no longer be used. Ingredients must be individually labelled, companies must take responsibility for their products. One can live in hope?


  • Do not live in hope of Morrisons...............

  • I have some information given to me by a nurse endoscopist who runs the coeliac clinic. There are new guidelines coming in for people who sell food which, I think, includes caterers at social events, such as weddings, and street sellers. I have the document somewhere when I find it I'll try and post it.

  • I see someone has already posted the document :D Jerry, 12 days ago. We can live in hope!

  • Wow that's bad customer service. Have you asked customer services at your local Morrisons for the number for head office? I wonder if a phone call might elicit a response.

  • Do not think Morrisons care, worst ever ...

  • I don't find them very good either - they don't seem to care about us. :-( I tend not to use them now unless I have no other choice.

  • Hi Purplehaze, I reckon that this is pretty bad service from Morrisons and hopefully will evolve to be more customer friendly as this strikes me that they are paying lip service to the new laws and here's what the FSA say about may contain:

    (from this: )

    Voluntary use of precautionary allergen labelling to indicate the unintentional presence of allergen

    71. FBOs voluntarily use precautionary allergen labelling such as ‘may contain’ or ‘not suitable for...’ to communicate the risk of the unintentional presence of an allergen (e.g. milk, egg, nuts) in a food product due to the allergen entering the product accidentally during production, through cross-contamination. The voluntary use of such precautionary allergen labelling is still permitted; the basis for this is contained within Article 14 of EU Regulation No.178/2002 (General Food Law).

    72. The use of the generic term ‘may contain nuts’ to cover both nuts and peanuts is permitted if the risk of contamination is from both foods. There is no need to provide details of specific nuts under this type of voluntary labelling.

    73. The application of precautionary allergen labelling should only be made after a thorough risk assessment has been performed and it is considered that there is a real risk to the food allergic or food intolerant consumer. The use of precautionary allergen labelling, when there is not a real risk, could be considered to be misleading. For detailed best practice guidance on allergen management and the voluntary application of precautionary allergen labelling.

    According to section 73 a blanket, may contain is misleading unless a thorough risk assessment has been done (and these have to be recorded and up to date) so Morrisons have to be careful with this one.

    I think that 'we' as consumers with special dietary needs should make shops aware of the power of the free from pound, as they are all fighting for customers and if they realised the draw of it and then for the family shop, things might change. So I wouldn't give up on contacting their customer service as you have needs and now you have rights.

  • Thank you for your comments. I have previously (before the new law came out) asked at customer services in Morrisons store and filled in all the relevant forms to ask for a list of ingredients in their products also emailed customer services - none of which produced a response.

    I wonder if other readers have had a better experience at their Morrisons store.

  • Arh now this one will get me going, I usually do not use Morrisons, but I called in one day after travelling to get a quick fix evening meal. I went to the hot chicken etc counter. I asked which cooked chickens were gluten free, what they said, what is that, after explaining, I was informed I had to go to go to Customer Services to find out the ingredients, needles to say I did not, so I moved on to the Deli and asked the same question, to the same response!!!. I then contacted a Manger who advised that if I wanted to purchase GF products, to ring him and he would ring head office to find out if they were GF. I advised him of this new ingredients law to be coming out (going back a couple of months here) he was amazed that this info had to be available. I informed him of the new impending law and he assured me he would act on this, even advising that he would inform his staff of allergins immediatley. I went back a few weeks later out of curiosity to see the changes, NON!!! but was advised not to buy the cooked chickens as they were fed wheat..... what can one say to this.... Ant and Dec be warned, I am a Coeliac, Get Me Out of Here..................

  • That's awful. I really think they don't care. I vote with my feet and wallet too. It doesn't even take that much effort to label something once. :/

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