Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More Reason to Shop with Vegan Logos


This is just one of many examples of where supermarkets are getting it wrong on vegetarian and vegan labelling. Look for the official Vegetarian Society or Vegan Society Logo on products to have reassurance that there are manufacturing procedures in place to stop cross contamination and the vegetarian and vegan ingredients sources have been thoroughly checked.

At Northampton magistrates court on 16th March, Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc based in Gain Lane, Bradford, received fines totalling £18,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,981.41 after pleading guilty to two charges of contravening the Food Safety Act 1990.

The prosecution followed an investigation by Northamptonshire County Council’s trading standards team after a complaint was made by a local man who purchased two tins of Morrisons own brand ‘Meat Free Ravioli in Tomato Sauce - suitable for vegetarians’ from a store in Northampton. The complainant had been a vegetarian for 23 years and was ‘unimpressed, disgusted and disappointed’ to find meat in the product.

The ravioli product had been manufactured and packed in Italy and during the investigation it became clear that Morrisons had received several other consumer complaints of the same nature in the previous two months and had failed to investigate them properly.

Cabinet member for community safety Councillor Liz Tavener said: “Food labels are there so that consumers can get the information they need to know before they buy. This is important not just for health reasons, but also for people who follow specific diets or have food allergies.

“In this case, someone who was vegetarian unwittingly purchased a product that contained meat; this falls well below the standards that consumers can expect and would not have happened if appropriate action had been taken by the supermarket following earlier complaints from other customers. Thanks to trading standards, the product has now been withdrawn from Morrisons supermarkets.

"Any consumers who consider that food is mis-described or mis-labelled should inform trading standards by calling Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06"

For help with legitimising your products with an independent, well recognised and internationally respected accreditation please contact MiV The Ministry of International Veganism.

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