Restaurants, stores still not reporting allergens properly: NVWA
Many restaurants, supermarkets, and specialty stores still don’t properly inform customers about the allergens in their food, the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) concluded after inspecting 13,000 companies in 2022. Six in ten companies didn’t inform customers correctly last year, about the same as in 2021.
For unpackaged food products, companies must state clearly and in advance whether the food contains any of the 14 common allergens. They can do that with a card in the display case, on the menu, or orally.
The hospitality industry showed some improvement on this point. Of the 9,407 restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops the NVWA inspected, 41 percent reported the allergens correctly, up from 35 percent in 2021.
At hospitals and nursing homes, 65 percent passed the inspection, slightly more than in 2021. Craft and specialty shops like bakers, ice cream shops, and butchers also scored about the same as in 2021. Last year, 48 percent of the 2,256 specialty stores inspected passed.
Supermarkets are doing less well. Only 38 percent of the 1,171 inspected supermarkets reported allergens correctly, down from 59 percent in 2021.
It is important that businesses serving food products comply with these guidelines, the NVWA said. “It can be dangerous for people with allergies or intolerances if they are not properly informed about what is in their food,” the regulator said.