City of Wolverhampton Council trading standards officers are protecting consumers this festive season by visiting restaurants to collect food samples which will be tested to ensure ingredients are genuine, safe and legal.

The food samples have now been sent to a laboratory which will check the authenticity of meat as well as testing for banned additives and hidden ingredients which could cause allergic reactions.

Any food business found to be supplying food that does not contain the stated ingredients or which is putting lives at risk by using banned additives or not warning people that dishes contain allergens will be investigated and appropriate action taken.

Andy Jervis, head of public protection, said that high profile cases elsewhere in the country meant it was important to reassure local consumers.

He added: "At Christmas time, restaurants and takeaways in Wolverhampton are in the midst of their busiest time of year.

"The fact of the matter is that consumers place their trust in food establishments to serve them with meals that genuinely contain the ingredients they are supposed to and are safe to eat.

"However, as we have seen from high profile cases elsewhere in the country, food businesses do not always deserve that trust and it is important that councils carry out unannounced tests to help keep people safe.

"There was a terrible case in North Yorkshire where a takeaway owner was found guilty of manslaughter and jailed following the death of a customer with a peanut allergy who had specifically ordered a meal which the restaurant wrongly stated contained no peanuts.

"Then of course there was the infamous horse meat scandal.

"City of Wolverhampton Council trading standards team want to send out a clear message to food businesses that we are doing random, unannounced tests and if they break the law they run a very real risk of getting caught."

Consumers who want to report any issues or concerns they have regarding food standards should do so by contacting the Citizens Advice Customer Service on 08454 04 05 06.

  • released: Thursday 22 December, 2016