first_img“Live issues in the wider food industry”, such as labelling and health, were debated at the Federation of Bakers’ (FoB) conference last week, as a panel session wrapped up the day’s proceedings. Panellists Gill Fine, director of consumer choice and dietary health at the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Sainsbury’s trading director Mike Coupe, new Allied Milling & Baking group chief executive Brian Robinson and food writer Fiona Hunter took part in the session, chaired by The Grocer magazine editor Julian Hunt.Fine told 120 delegates an ongoing public health campaign on salt reduction was “a challenge for everyone in this room”. The FSA welcomes the proactive response and long-term commitments of the baking industry and it recognises there are technical challenges ahead, she said. The industry could look at reducing salt levels in products with comparatively higher levels, she said. Robinson commented that he believed there was further room for salt reduction, but this would require technical changes to the bread-making process. The industry was near the limit of what it could achieve under present circumstances, he said.On the question of the forthcoming public consultation by the FSA on possible fortification of bread with folic acid (British Baker, April 7, pg 3), Coupe said his own opinion was that it would be better to provide customers with informed choice, rather than legislating that folic acid be added as an ingredient across the range.And in terms of tackling the issue of front-of-pack labelling, Robinson stated a personal preference for keeping labels on the reverse of the pack, where consumers are used to seeing them, and for keeping labels simple rather than overcomplicating packaging. However, no final decision has been made, and his company would follow the industry trend on the matter, he commented.The panel also turned its attention to the news that the Office of Fair Trading is to refer the grocery market to the Competition Commission for investigation, following lobbying by industry groups, including the National Association of Master Bakers (British Baker, May 12, pg 3).Coupe wondered how the boundaries for what promises to be a complex investigation will be set. For example, as supermarkets develop their non-food offers, would the whole retail industry – rather than just grocery – need to be investigated? Robinson predicted the investigation will “cost a lot of money, achieve very little, and probably go on for years.”last_img read more

Local support is vocal, finds Hyder

first_imgMost UK shoppers believe it is important to support the local high street but just 32% admit to regularly using the stores, according to the latest survey by Hyder Consulting, a planning and environmental consultancy.It claims that in light of the Sustainable Communities Bill (see pg 16), 80% of UK adults believe it is important to support the local high street. Conversely, less than a third (32%) shop on the high street and nearly half (45%) say they do their main grocery shopping in out-of-town retail sites.The survey questioned a representative sample of 1,512 adults aged 18+ across the UK from 20-23 November 2006.last_img

Compass offloads Selecta

first_imgCompass Group is to sell Selecta, its food vending machine business, to the German private equity company Allianz Capital Partners for £772.5m.The group said that approximately £500m of the proceeds will be used for a share buy- back programme over the next 12 to 18 months. Compass will pay £45m from the sale into the UK pension fund and the remaining amount will go towards reducing net debt.Selecta, which was put up for sale in November, has operations in 22 European countries and generated revenue of £476m last year, with operating profits reaching £45m. The company’s earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation were £87m.last_img

Caught in the Web

first_img* Taking afternoon tea to the next level, The Berkeley hotel has come up with some ultra-posh patisserie to tie in with New York Fashion Week (from 13 Feb), including a woman drowning in mousse! tinyurl.com/bnbsqh * Perhaps crazier – though not very chic – are bacon-topped cupcakes. Will the innovation ever end? tinyurl.com/ctqy79 * Clearly not, as the world goes cupcake crazy: tattoo, pool ball or iPhone cupcakes anyone?tinyurl.com/6v8vcglast_img

Allergy alert

first_imgThe Food Standards Agency (FSA) revealed on Wednesday, 16 January, its new voluntary guidelines to warn consumers about possible allergens in food from food retail outlets, such as bakeries, cafés and restaurants, as well as food that is not prepacked. Two weeks later, on Wednesday, 30 January, the EU Commission went even further and announced an intention to introduce new legislation to make this mandatory.The FSA’s guidelines, backed by an advice booklet which warns that “eating even a small bit of food” can cause illness or death, suggest that products made with ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction should be listed on a card, label or menu.However, the guidance also points out that this is not compulsory and that an alternative is to ensure all staff are equipped to answer accurately questions from consumers about whether the food contains allergenic ingredients. The guidance stresses the importance of ensuring employees do not guess the answer to such questions.Allergy information on prepacked food is compulsory, but EU law allows member states an option to require, or not to require, written information about allergens in connection with food not packed at the time of sale – even if it is packed after the customer asks for it. The same exception applies to food from, and eaten in, bake-ries. The UK took up the option not to require written labelling in those cases.The new guidance was produced after extensive consultation with industry and expressly says it shouldn’t be used as a guide to enforcement by the authorities. This means that non-observance of the guidance is not to be regarded as an indication that an offence has been committed – which is right, because it is a best-practice guide.The guidance assumes that it is up to the allergic consumer to ask for information about ingredients and that there is no legal obligation on the business selling the food to volunteer that such ingredients have been used.However, the guidance stresses that if the consumer is given information about allergenic ingredients, it must be accurate, and points out that if information is given which is inaccurate, it is likely that the business is committing a criminal offence and may be liable to damages. Overall, the FSA has published some great practical guidance about how food businesses should control their exposure to this risk.However, the guidance may be fairly short-lived, since the European Commission has just announced it intends to use the proposed updating of EU food law to extend compulsory allergen information from prepacked foods to these other categories. The text of the Commission’s proposal is not yet available, and there is a hint that alternatives to labelling or display signage may be introduced. This is obviously an important topic for bakers and those selling food that is not prepacked – such as many sandwich bars. Such food businesses should keep a close eye on the proposals and lobby to ensure the eventual regulations are practical. * Owen Warnock is partner and food expert at international law firm Evershedlast_img read more

BSB takes conference to NEC

first_imgThis spring’s British Society of Baking (BSB) Conference is at the Baking Industry Exhibition at the NEC, Birmingham. There is a gourmet dinner from 6.30pm on Monday, 7 April. Rooms can be booked at the Holiday Inn by the BSB.Tuesday registration is at 8.30am. Talks start at 9.20am, with the Food and Drink Federation’s director of communications Julian Hunt speaking on ’The Activities of the Food and Drink Federation’. Bill Dean, MD of shortbread producer Deans of Huntly, will talk about NPD and promotional initiatives, and Paul Barker, who won 2007’s BIA Marketing Award, will discuss ’Cinnamon Square – the theatre of baking’.Alan Marr of Aulds (Food) will give an address on ’Out of the Ashes, Success!’ and describe his new factory. Matthew May of the Association of Bakery Students and Trainees will speak on training, followed by Jean Grieves and Albert Waterfield, who will introduce their new Bakery School website. The conference ends at 2pm.l For full details, contact BSB secretary Sharon Byrne: T: 01869 247098. Email: [email protected]last_img read more

Australian Footy enters UK

first_imgThe Great Australian Pie company is to launch a range of eight pies in the UK, which have been created by a leading Australian chef, Ben O’Donohue.Targeted at the retail sector, after two years of trials at sports grounds and music festivals, the pies are being made under licence by Wrights Pies. They contain only British ingredients, with no artificial colours or flavours.The pies use a shortcrust pastry top and bottom, which, unlike the crumblier and softer version in the UK, is said to be richer, heavier and harder, holding its shape well. The pies have 30% meat content with the beef and lamb sourced in Dumfries & Galloway.Business development director Steve Hamer said: “They come in eight flavours, including the classic Aussie pie called Footy, which is minced chuck steak, onions and organic spices in a rich gravy. All the pies are 265g except the Footy at 220g.”[http://www.greataustralianpieco.com].last_img

FSA reaffirms recommendation on folic acid

first_imgThe Food Standards Agency (FSA) has reaffirmed its recommendation that bread or flour should be fortified with folic acid after considering updated information on folic acid and cancer from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN).The recommendation to the chief medical officer (CMO) Sir Liam Donaldson means mandatory fortification is increasingly likely, but raises unanswered questions about how the proposal would be implemented, who would foot the costs and what effect it would have on sales. Alex Waugh, director of the National Association of Irish and British Millers, told British Baker that, if the recommendation is adopted, the practicalities would have to be addressed by government. “It could be done if folic acid was added at the same time as other fortificants, but there would be a cost involved and that is an issue we would raise,” he said. “There is also a worry that the length of time discussions have taken has polarised views. The column inches dedicated to folic acid have not been helpful in developing consumer understanding. Some consumers could be turned off bread.”Read the full story in the next issue of British Baker, out 23 October.last_img read more

Porter County mom arrested after 5-year-old son was found alone

first_img Google+ (“Cuffs4” by banspy, Attribution 2.0 Generic) PORTER Co., Ind. — A nearly naked 5-year-old boy was roaming around outside near the road for an hour and a half, said Porter County police.The mother was found at home so drunk she couldn’t even correctly spell her name. When asked how to spell Amy Kessinger, police said she spelled it, ‘Ay Kssinger.’Kessinger was taken to jail, and is accused of neglect of a dependent.A witness told police they first saw the child outside, wearing just a t-shirt. They were sitting on the hood of a car parked on the road.The witness didn’t think the child was alone, but went back outside later and the boy was still outside.Kessinger was three times the legal limit said police. Porter County mom arrested after 5-year-old son was found alone WhatsApp IndianaLocalNews Twitter Pinterest Pinterest Twitter WhatsApp By Network Indiana – July 17, 2020 0 658 Google+ Facebook Facebook Previous articleIndiana and Michigan classrooms predicted to struggle with social distancingNext articleISSMA cancels fall marching band competitions Network Indianalast_img read more

Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving coming to PBS this weekend

first_imgIndianaLocalMichiganNationalNewsSouth Bend Market By Tommie Lee – November 19, 2020 0 409 Break out the popcorn, pretzels and toast!Charlie Brown and the gang will be on regular TV for the holidays after all.After public outcry about the Great Pumpkin Halloween special moving exclusively to Apple TV+ this year, hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions and a new deal was struck between Apple and PBS.Wednesday it was announced that “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will appear, ad-free, on PBS stations this year.Most PBS stations, including WNIT Channel 34, will air the Thanksgiving show this Sunday evening at 7:30. WhatsApp Google+ Facebook Twitter Pinterest Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving coming to PBS this weekend Facebook WhatsApp Pinterest Twitter Google+ Previous articlePlans move forward for Tolson Center renovationNext articleSt. Joseph County Jail has become a COVID-19 hotspot Tommie Leelast_img read more