The UK Food Standards Agency is being ridiculed on social media after the recall of a popular spread for mislabeling.
Whole Earth 3 Nut Butter is being pulled from the shelves because the jars do not bear a standard nut allergy warning despite the label making clear the product contains peanuts, walnuts, and pecans.
Kallo, the manufacturer of the spread, announced: “We are recalling Whole Earth 3 Nut Butter Peanut, Pecan & Walnut due to the back label not being in English”.
What was not disclosed on the label is that traces of other nuts may be present in the spread.
The Food Standards Agency issued the following advisory: “If you have bought the above product and have an allergy to peanuts and/or pecan nuts and/or walnuts and/or other nuts, do not eat it. Instead, return it to the store from where it was bought for a full refund.”
The recall has spurred a steady stream of snark on social media. Here are some examples that we are able to print:
It has in BIG words….— Richard Eagle (@paganeagle2001) April 12, 2019
3 Nut Butter
It even gives the types of nuts.
But because it’s not in small letters in the ingredients on the back of the jar, it’s a health risk!!https://t.co/6Sgt1IFWUD
As a nut allergy ‘sufferer’ I have enough sense not to buy a jar of peanut, pecan and walnut 3-nut butter.— Jonathan Arnott MEP (@JonathanArnott) April 12, 2019
I just want common-sense labelling, not this nonsense – or the stupidity of labelling literally everything ‘may contain…’ for fear of being sued.https://t.co/BYBAROIoR1
We at SnackSafely.com wholeheartedly agree with the recall and applaud the FSA for vigorously enforcing the rules. Regulations regarding allergen warnings are meant to provide a standard way for consumers — who may be shopping for others with food allergies and may have been trained a certain way — to check the safety of a food product. They should be considered sacrosanct.
Furthermore, tree nut allergies are not all the same. While a person with a tree nut allergy might be able to tolerate pecans and walnuts, consuming the trace of other nuts in the spread could well mean a trip to the hospital or worse.
Labeling regulations in the US do not provide standards for warning consumers about the possible presence of allergen trace in a product, as the placement of statements such as “Manufactured in a facility that also processes milk…” are entirely voluntary. We must strengthen our regulations to protect consumers with food allergies, now estimated to number 32 million.