AVA responds to Trading Standards allergen investigation

The Automatic Vending Association (AVA) says it takes the issue of allergen labelling “extremely seriously” after a Torfaen Trading Standards report on milk content (and labelling) in ‘vending machines’.

The investigation was reported in an article in Food Manufacture stating that 10 outlets had been visited where ‘vending machines’ drinks, particularly black tea and black coffee were tested. It reportedly “found serious failings in the provision of allergen information and also cross contamination of milk products that did not contain milk as an intended ingredient”.

The AVA has stressed that what is apparent is that these machines were table-top machines operated in catering outlets in cafés, supermarkets and other ‘on-the-go’ outlets – not traditional vending machines in sites run by vending operators.

It has responded as follows: “Members of the AVA are an important part of the food service industry and have strict regulations and standards around allergen labelling. The AVA was involved in the preparation of the Food Information to Consumers Regulation on behalf of our members and we continue to work hard with them to ensure they are compliant with these regulations.

“For AVA members, appropriate labelling on machines is part of their annual quality audit. The issue of allergen labelling is one we take extremely seriously. We will take this opportunity to once again remind our members of the need to provide current and comprehensive allergen information to consumers to ensure they make safe choices.”