Tesco nut allergy packaging backlash: supermarket responds to claims

Campaigners claimed that the supermarket giant put the warnings on packaging to save itself from potential legal battles

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The Independent Online

Tesco has responded to accusations made by allergy campaigners that it has put an unnecessary amount of nut warnings on its products to protect the company from potential legal action.

Following new EU nut allergy labelling regulations, retailers have updated their packing.

But sufferers complained that Tesco had added “may contain nuts” to products including ham, yoghurt, and sweet potatoes.

“Nut allergies occur when a person’s immune system reacts abnormally to specific foods. While reactions are often mild, including itching sensations inside the mouth, they can sometimes be extremely severe. In the most serious cases, food allergies can cause anaphylactic shock, where a person can struggle to breathe, become unconscious, and if untreated, die.”

Alexa Baracaia, the parent of a nut-allergic child told The Grocer: “it begs the questions of why that label was there in the first place and appears to confirm our suspicions that these labels are little more than lazy legal disclaimers rather than genuine statements of risk”.

The firm has rejected the claims. A spokesman for Tesco said: “Our first priority is always the safety of our customers and we take great care to label our products with allergy advice where necessary. We only display these warnings on products when there is a risk of cross contamination.”