London - Restaurant staff are failing to warn customers about potentially lethal allergens, an investigation reveals today.
Pizza Hut, Nando’s and Starbucks employees gave undercover reporters unclear or incorrect information about food containing nuts, mustard or celery.
BBC Watchdog Live staff posed as customers with allergies and asked staff if specific dishes contained one of the 14 major allergens. Just a sixth of the 30 food outlets gave the proper information – as they are required to do by law. Pizza Express was the sole chain to give accurate advice at all five of the branches visited.
The investigation follows the inquest into the death of Natasha Ednan- Laperouse, 15, who suffered an allergic reaction to sesame seeds in the dough of a Pret A Manger baguette. One reporter was assured a mince pie made with milk did not contain dairy – even after the store’s allergy book was consulted.
Watchdog Live presenter Steph McGovern added: ‘They’re relying on staff getting it right every time, and when they don’t, the results can be fatal. But there’s a simple solution that would save lives – printing allergy information on labels and menus.’
Nando’s said staff had been reminded of the safety processes already in place. Pizza Hut said it had taken the feedback on board.
Starbucks said it had addressed the issue with ‘the team at the store and we have been in touch with all of our UK stores to reinforce our standards and expectations’.
© Daily Mail