Home bakery in Northern Ireland is fined for mislabelling cake that contained peanuts

Home bakery in Northern Ireland is fined for mislabelling cake that contained peanuts

  • 19 February 2024
  • Business News
  • News

A home bakery in Northern Ireland has been fined for mislabelling a carrot cake with a generic “may contain nuts” label when the recipe contained peanuts. A customer with a peanut allergy had an allergic reaction after eating the cake which was serious enough to require a trip to A&E.

MM Home Bakery Ltd in Co Fermanagh, who supply 4,000 units a week, were fined £1,750 plus £362 towards the costs of Newry and Mourne District Council who brought the prosecution at Banbridge Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Newry. The company entered guilty pleas to two of the four charges against them admitting that the food sold contained allergens that were not labelled.

The case prosecution told the court that the customer has a peanut allergy and checked the label when she bought the cake in March 2023, but immediately started to feel symptoms of an allergic reaction. She contacted the company twice to alert them but noticed the same product was still on the shelves a week later. This time, she contacted the environmental health department at the council which led to a product recall on April 14.

The council’s investigation found that the company had changed their recipe in 2021, replacing walnuts with peanuts, but the labelling was not updated. They highlighted that the carrot cake had been on the market without being properly labelled for two years.

The defence counsel explained in court that the part time member of staff who was in charge of labelling was off work at the time the recipe was changed. The label stated ‘may contain nuts’ and was not updated to state may contain peanuts – peanuts are not nuts. The defence counsel said the company “apologises to the victim”.

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