Food Allergen Policy - for The Severn Weigh

* All of our food products have detailed ingredient tabs which highlight any known allergens (also will be present on food labels). 

Below, we have outlined how we mitigate against cross contamination but it remains the responsibility of the customer to assess the level of allergen risk for your specific allergy or food intolerance. Please look carefully at the information that we provide for each food product so that you can make an informed choice.   

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WHAT ARE FOOD ALLERGENS?

A food allergen is a substance in a food that can cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. Allergens tend to be food proteins and for some people, their immune systems respond to these proteins as a threat to the body, and so release chemicals which create an 'allergic reaction' in that person. 

WHAT IS A FOOD ALLERGY?

A food allergy is an adverse reaction to a food protein that involves the immune system and can be a potentially life threatening condition. Symptoms can appear within minutes or up to several hours after a person has eaten a food that they are allergic to. Those with allergies must avoid the particular foods (or allergens) which make them ill.

WHAT IS FOOD INTOLERANCE?

Most food intolerances do not involve the immune system and are generally not life-threatening but they can still make someone feel very ill or affect their long-term health. Examples of food intolerance include lactose and gluten intolerance.

WHAT IS COELIAC DISEASE?

Coeliac disease is not a food allergy but is a lifelong autoimmune disease, triggered when eating gluten (found in wheat, barley & rye yet present in a myriad of food products): the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue in the body, causing inflammation and damage to the gut (small bowel) and therefore preventing the body from taking in nutrients from food. In addition to the immediate painful symptoms, this can lead to weight loss, vitamin /mineral deficiency and malnutrition, fatigue and co-ordination problems plus further long-term serious complications. Whilst there is no cure, symptoms can be better managed through a strict gluten-free diet. 

 

14 KEY FOOD ALLERGENS:

The EU have identified 14 specific foods which are the most common and potent food allergens in Europe. If there is a food product which contains or uses one of these ingredients, or if a processing aid has been derived from one of these substances, then it must be declared on the ingredients list. 

In the UK, food businesses must identify any of these 14 key allergens as ingredients in the food and drink they provide and highlight them in bold. If you want to find out if any of the following ALLERGENS are contained in any of our products, these will be listed and highlighted in bold on the INGREDIENTS TAB FOR EACH FOOD PRODUCT.

celery

cereals containing gluten – including wheat, rye, barley and oats

crustaceans – such as prawns, crabs and lobsters

eggs

fish

lupin

milk

molluscs – such as mussels and oysters

mustard

tree nuts – including almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts

peanuts - A Peanut allergy differs from tree nut allergies since peanuts are not true nuts but are legumes. It develops when the body's immune system responds with a hypersensitivity to one or more of the peanut proteins.

sesame seeds

soybeans

sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if they are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million)

* The allergens most relevant to our own business when repackaging loose whole foods include cereals and gluten; tree nuts; peanuts; mustard seeds and sesame seeds. Some of these are contained in the bombay mix and other savoury snacks. 

* Some of the vegan fudge contains soya lecithin.

Information about our loose ingredients is taken directly from the wholesaler and the product specification documents. 

* We avoid selling any loose products containing sulphur dioxide or sulphites.

* We are a vegetarian business and so fish / crustacean / mollusc icons won't be required.

* We also sell some pre-packaged plastic-free items and so allergens for those will also be listed in this way, with information taken directly from the food labels / manufacturer. 

* Allergen icons displayed on this page will also be used on each relevant product page. We have decided to use 2 colours:

red to indicate that an allergen is known to be present

amber to indicate that an allergen might be present through accidental cross contamination that has been flagged up as a possibility by our suppliers

PLACING AN ORDER:

IF YOU OR A FAMILY MEMBER HAS ANY KNOWN FOOD ALLERGY, PLEASE REFER TO THE INGREDIENTS TABS PRIOR TO PURCHASING AND PLEASE DO LET US KNOW ABOUT YOUR ALLERGY WHEN YOU PLACE AN ORDER : LEAVE A MESSAGE AT CHECKOUT AND / OR SEND AN EMAIL HERE and scroll through the 'choose' bar to 'I have an allergy' so that we are alerted quickly when you send the message, many thanks.   

* Unfortunately, some people may also have allergies to other foods which are not included in the common list of 14 and so we may not recognise this food as an allergen. Please get in touch to ask us about other products if you require further information.  

MITIGATION OF ALLERGEN CROSS CONTAMINATION: 

We adhere to a scrupulous cleaning regime and ensure that all surfaces are properly sanitised; equipment properly cleaned / sterilised prior to weighing each ingredient.

*Utensils used either for gluten free products or for nuts are marked with different colour tags on the handles and are stored in separate containers and washed separately.

We appreciate that many people with nut allergies may have an allergy to one / some but not all nuts. We ensure to only use one scoop once when weighing a single nut product so that the same scoop is never re-used for a different nut before it has been thoroughly washed. A used nut scoop is placed in its own separate marked jug until washed separately. 

Furthermore, every single scoop or utensil is washed immediately after a single use regardless of any allergens present.

We also follow rigorous personal hygiene standards: hair tied back / hair covering; face masks and aprons worn; hands washed regularly and gloves used when weighing out / packing foods / handling customers' order trays. Order trays are sanitised after every single use. 

Hands and surfaces must be washed thoroughly and regularly when weighing out orders and between foods products and care taken particularly around foods containing allergens ensuring that the surface is clean and sanitised afterwards.

Food allergens are stored in separately away from our other foods and likewise our gluten free products are stored separately in sealed dedicated containers. 

* Allergens will be listed in bold on the ingredients labels of any weighed foods we package for you. 

* Whilst we try hard to prevent cross contamination of allergens, this possibility can never be guaranteed.  

One of our suppliers has produced the following *Allergen Statement, which we have included on each relevant ingredient tab:

“Allergen handling policies and procedures are in place through the supply chain to reduce the likelihood of cross contamination from allergens, however this cannot be guaranteed."

Our other supplier makes a similar statement:

"We haven taken every reasonable precaution and proceed with due diligence, however we cannot control the risk of cross contamination in distribution. We also have limited control over any third parties involved in distribution. Therefore we cannot guarantee absence of any particular allergens."

GLUTEN / WHEAT 

The term 'gluten free' is covered by European regulation and UK law. This law means that that any product labelled 'gluten free' must legally contain no more than 20ppm of gluten (20 parts per million) which is considered a safe level for all people following a gluten free diet and is not toxic to people with coeliac disease.  

Our 'gluten free' products from suppliers, such as our 'Organic gluten free porridge oats', are labelled by the suppliers as <20ppm for gluten which fulfils this legal requirement.

However, whilst we have a system in place to mitigate against cross contamination, this can never be guaranteed because at The Severn Weigh store we also handle loose wheat and gluten containing products. 

I am afraid that unpackaged loose foods may not be an option for those with coeliac disease and even our suppliers cannot guarantee that with every product that contamination has not already occurred at some point in the supply chain.

For those who have milder wheat / gluten intolerances, we do our very best to ensure that products are never weighed out together but weighed separately in batches and that surfaces / utensils are scrupulously cleaned afterwards.

Foods are stored in separate dedicated containers away from any allergen containing foods.

*We have been made aware that a few products, whilst not naturally containing gluten, are commonly rotated with cereal crops and so we cannot guarantee that they won’t have trace amounts from contaminated soil through these farming methods. 

*These trace amounts might be found in some of the lentils, for example, that may translate to a gluten content on the borderline of the 20ppm limit. If we become aware of this risk with particular ingredients, it will be stated on the ingredients tab and an amber icon will be present. 

NUTS & SEEDS 

We handle a wide range of loose seeds and nuts. As with the gluten containing products, we do our very best to keep products separated, using dedicated utensils, yet these stringent practices cannot guarantee that there will be no cross contamination. 

* For those with AIRBORNE allergies, we understand that even entering our store may well pose too high a risk since we weigh out foods in the main room where people also collect their orders.

* In this instance, you might prefer to have a home delivery or have your order brought to you outside the building  Please do ask about these options!

Unfortunately, for those with such severe nut allergies, loose bulk food shopping might simply pose too high a risk and as such you may need to continue to buy conventionally pre-packaged products elsewhere.   

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Allergen Sign on our Store Window Door: 

QUERIES

If you would like to ask any further questions concerning allergens, please leave a message here.

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Food Safety & Hygiene Certificate: