Trading Standards – Reports of Allergic Reaction(s) to Food or Drink


“How many times have you had complaints after someone has had an allergic reaction to food or drink in a food or drink outlet in your area in 2017-2018, 2016-2017 and 2015-2016

For each instance please let us know:

  • What reaction the person buying the food or drink had?
  • Was it down to mislabelling or inadequate labelling? 
  • Was it down to contamination? 
  • What was the food or drink that was bought?
  • What outlet it was bought from?
  • The date it was bought?
  • What was the ingredient missed/misrepresented on the food or drink’s labelling? 
  • What action was taken by trading standards?
  • Did the instance result in the death of the person who consumed food/drink? 


Devon and Somerset Trading Standard’s response to the above questions is provided within the below table.

Please note that the primary issue with such allegations is that the food may not be “safe” so in the normal course of events complaints should be made to the relevant Environmental Health Department (at District or Unitary Council level in our area). The Food Law Code of Practice states “In accordance with the Regulators’ Code and where the law allows, Competent Authorities should share information about compliance and risk of food business establishments with other Competent Authorities” and as in these cases there is a crossover responsibility between Environmental Health and Trading Standards on allergens, with Trading Standards mainly dealing with labelling, that normally requires that we notify each other.  Therefore, enquires to District Council/Unitary Authorities could also be made, but there may be a risk of “double counting”.

It should be noted that prior to May 2017 the Devon and Somerset Trading Standard’s service did not cover the Torbay Council area.

EH = Environmental Health

EHO = Environmental Health Officer

Date Reaction of person buying the food or drink Mislabelling or inadequate labelling? Contamination? Type of food / drink Type of Outlet where purchased Date bought? Ingredient missed /misrepresented on the food or drink’s labelling Action taken by Trading standards? Did the instance result in the death of the person who consumed food/drink?
08/01/16 Anaphylactic Shock Inadequate no Cheese and Tomato Sandwich Vending machine in a college N/K Bread with sesame Investigation with EH and advice given No
13/04/16 Upset stomach Reflux/ Eczma neither- mistake in preparation yes Panini with non dairy spread Café Apr-16 Butter used instead of non dairy spread Noted- dealt with by EHO No
13/02/17 Breathing difficulties Neither yes Curry Pub restaurant  N/K Almond garnish Noted- dealt with by EHO No
10/05/17 Anaphylactic Shock Inadequate no Carrot Cake Delicatessen café 26/04/17 Peanut Noted- dealt with by EHO No
02/01/18 Believed early signs of anaphalxsis, lips swelling epi pen administered Inadequate no Salad dressing café Xmas 2017 Cashew nut Noted- dealt with by EHO No
06/02/18 Unwell / bloating/ vomiting Inadequate n/k Cheeseburger/ chips/ macaroni Cheese Burger restaurant 25/01/18 Egg- alleged- not identified what part of meal Noted- dealt with by EHO No
12/12/17 Unwell / vomiting / rash Inadequate no Cheese Pub restaurant 09/12/17 Cheese described as Dairy free Referred to EHO No