Tesco’s plans to help nut allergy sufferers by imposing strict traceability controls on all own-label pre-packaged processed foods may backfire.
It has introduced a new nut code of practice that will require suppliers and their raw material suppliers to carry out rigorous testing procedures if a product is to be classified as nut-free.
That means an accredited laboratory must carry out a detailed risk assessment on all raw materials and do monthly finished product testing.
However, rather than pay the test costs monthly, most suppliers will opt for an ambiguous and wordy label on their packaging, according to one supplier. It would read: ‘Recipe no nuts; ingredients cannot guarantee nut-free; factory no nuts’, and requires random testing of material twice a year.
“Virtually all suppliers will go for that non-committal statement,” said the supplier. “Instead of helping nut allergy sufferers, they will be faced with a mass of products labelled ‘cannot guarantee nut-free’.”
But a Tesco spokeswoman said: “We have support from allergy groups as this unpacks the blanket labelling ‘may contain nuts’. We will give information on the recipe, ingredients and manufacturing of the product.”
SABMiller has announced the launch of Miller Brands (UK) Limited, a new operating company which will manage the sales, marketing and distribution of its four premium brands in the UK.
As part of the move, SABMiller and Scottish and Newcastle have reached an arrangement to transfer the marketing and distribution rights for Miller Genuine Draft to Miller Brands from January 2006.

Glasgow-based off-licence and convenience store chain G101 has defended its decision not to sell energy drinks such as Red Bull to children under the age of 16. A spokesman for the company said it had spoken to Red Bull regarding the issue, but would continue to use its discretion on what it deemed responsible retailing.
He said: “For most of our stores it is not an issue as they are purely off-licences, but for the other outlets it is left to staff to decide. If a 10-year-old wanted to buy a chocolate bar that would be fine, but 10 cans of Red Bull is something different entirely.”

The maker of Mr Kipling cakes and Hovis bread tasted sweet success this week after RHM shares rose 6% to 292.5p. The group cut the price of its flotation from an initial £1.3bn to ensure good demand from investors, and on Wednesday the offer of 173 million shares was more than six times oversubscribed.

An outbreak of bacterial kidney disease has been detected in Hampshire-based rainbow trout farm Test Valley Trout. The disease has no implications for human health but can cause large numbers of mortalities in both farmed and wild salmon and trout. Defra has issued a Designated Area Order and movement of fish too and from the farm has been prohibited.
New Miller brands
No Red Bull for kids
Sweet success
Fish disease found