Nevis Bakery fined over allergen labelling error

A Scottish bakery has apologised to the family of a child who suffered an allergic reaction after eating a biscuit that contained egg.

Nevis Bakery from Inverness-shire was fined after pleading guilty to failing to state on packaging that its Empire biscuits contained eggs, a potentially allergenic ingredient. The business also pleaded guilty to placing food (the same biscuit) that was deemed unsafe and considered injurious to health to a specific category of consumers on the market.

Nevis was fined a total of £6,000 and ordered to pay more than £3,000 legal costs at Belfast Magistrates’ Court this week.

Belfast City Council prosecuted the business after receiving a complaint that a young child had suffered an anaphylactic reaction and was hospitalised after eating a Nevis Bakery Empire biscuit.

The product was consequently recalled and removed from sale, and Nevis Bakery has since reissued its Empire biscuits with the correct allergen information and ingredients listed on the packaging.

Following the case, Nevis Bakery said it took full responsibility and accountability for the incident and sincerely apologised to the family involved for the distress caused.

“While we do not in any way wish to minimise the severity of the issue, it arose as a result of a small change in recipe that was not immediately updated on packaging,” stated the bakery. “When we became aware of the incident, we took immediate and effective steps to deal with the matter and have implemented procedures to ensure full compliance and safety going forward.”

Nevis added that it had fully engaged with all agencies, including the Food Standards Agency and Allergen UK.

“We wish to reassure our customers that we have taken this incident extremely seriously and can guarantee the future accuracy of our product labelling.

“We are a small, family-run business and we are committed to continuing to provide high-quality bakery products, as we have done for 38 years.” 

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