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Council issues food safety advice for Swansea businesses after fines handed out

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Food businesses in Swansea and across the country are being reminded of their responsibilities to food safety as part of a nationwide campaign.

Swansea Council is backing the Food Standards Agency (FSA) campaign running throughout June, starting with ‘World Food Safety Day’ which was recently held (June 7).

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Reports from local authorities indicate that food hygiene inspectors have observed significant drops in compliance by food businesses since the pandemic. Particular areas of concern include cleaning, pest control, food safety management and food substitution issues linked to allergies.

The FSA has responded to this by launching their campaign, urging food businesses to do all they can to ensure food is safe for consumers.

In Swansea, during the height of the pandemic in November 2020, Trading Standards Officers carried out a series of test purchases from food takeaway establishments. During the test purchases, a number of establishments were caught out, selling food which contained milk products, where the test purchaser had disclosed that they suffered from milk allergies.

The council-led exercise resulted in four Swansea-based takeaways facing fines and costs of more than £19,000 in total.

David Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Performance in Swansea Council, said: “During the height of the pandemic, many sit-down restaurants were closed and so consumers made more use of takeaway businesses. We wanted to ensure that these businesses were operating safely and making sure they were complying with current food safety regulations.

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“In general, most were, and continue to act responsibly. However, a number of businesses we conducted test purchases with, fell short of regulations, ignoring allergies disclosed by the consumer and knowingly selling them food which could have serious implications when consumed.

“These businesses have been dealt with through our enforcement procedures and hopefully they are now better informed of what needs to be done in future.”

As well as carrying out test purchases of food items, the Council’s Food Safety Team regularly works with businesses, conducting inspections of premises to ensure food preparation and storage meet national food hygiene standards.

Nathan Barnhouse, Director of FSA in Wales said: “Many food businesses already meet good standards of hygiene, and we know this is important to consumers who want to feel confident that the food they choose won’t make them ill.

“Food safety issues like food poisoning and incidents of undeclared allergens, can cause unnecessary suffering for individuals, as well as impacting on their families. We work in collaboration with Swansea Council who support businesses and help them understand the regulatory requirements.”

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Food & Drink

Winner winner, weekday dinners: Morrisons introduces midweek dinners for under a fiver in its cafés

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Amidst the cost of living crisis, supermarket giant Morrisons is introducing a ‘meal of the day’ for under a fiver to its cafés nationwide.

Every weekday from 3pm, a ‘Daily Special’ will be discounted, offering a saving of up to £3.89 on the individual product price.

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The meal on offer will rotate each day and customers can choose from British roast chicken served with chips and coleslaw, a hearty chicken tikka masala, a 9-piece breakfast brunch, a succulent British cheeseburger served with chips and coleslaw and the ultimate beer-battered fish and chips.

The offer includes a drink and vegetarian alternatives are also available.

Each meal will be priced at £4.99, which the supermarket chain says makes them cheaper than the same evening meals at Wetherspoons, Harvester and Beefeater.

Morrisons also say that kids can also eat free all day with the purchase of any adult meal, meaning a family of four can enjoy a meal out together for just £9.98.

Ali Lyons, Head of Morrisons Cafés, says: “We know how hard it is for our customers at the moment and we want to make sure they are still able to enjoy a meal out, even on a budget. We’ve handpicked these favourites so that no matter what day it is, our customers can enjoy a saving.”

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Morrisons £4.99 offer will be available in its 406 cafés nationwide after 3pm every weekday. The ‘Daily Specials’ on offer are:

MondayRoast Chicken served with Chips & Coleslaw or Cheese & Onion Quiche served with Chips & Coleslaw 
TuesdayChicken Tikka Masala or Mac ‘n’ Cheese 
WednesdayBreakfast Brunch or Full Vegetarian Breakfast 
ThursdayCheeseburger served with Chips & Coleslaw  or Vegetarian burger served with Chips & Coleslaw 
FridayUltimate Fish & Chips

(Lead image: Morrisons)

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Food & Drink

Proposal to ban tea and coffee for under 16s in Wales branded ‘illiberal’

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photo of person s hand pouring liquid to cup

Proposals to consider banning the sale of tea and coffee to under-16s in Wales have been labelled ‘outrageously illiberal’ by the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

The Welsh Labour Government reportedly confirmed that it is considering the move as part of plans to make young people healthier and stop rising obesity rates.

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The move comes as the Welsh Government raise concerns of the rising consumption of high-caffeine energy drinks among young people is also causing concern about the effects on their education.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said: “It is beggars’ belief that this is even under consideration.

“We are all aware obesity is a serious problem in Wales and it is important that we take action to reduce the levels across Wales.

“However, it doesn’t take an expert consultation to realise that tea and coffee are not responsible for high obesity levels.

“It would be outrageously illiberal to ban the sale of coffee and tea to under 16-year-olds, something which they regularly drink themselves at home.”

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(Lead image: Elina Fairytale / Pexels.com)

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Tesco makes it even easier for Swansea shoppers to help local food banks and charities

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Tesco is making it easier than ever for shoppers to give a helping hand to food banks and charities feeding people in their local community, with ready-prepared donation bags at local stores in Swansea this summer.

The Tesco Food Collection is taking place in every large Tesco store across the UK from Thursday, June 30 until Saturday, July 2, and shoppers are being urged to donate long-life food to support local food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network and thousands of frontline charities supplied by FareShare. Tesco will top up all food donations made during the collection with an extra 20% cash donation to support the two charities.

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The pre-filled donation bags, available during the collection, will contain items that are most-needed by the local Trussell Trust foodbank or frontline charities supplied by FareShare. Shoppers will be able to scan the contents at the till as part of their usual shop before dropping the bag into the food collection donation trolley.

It is one of a number of new ways that customers can give their support during this summer’s food collection. Shoppers can also for the first time round up their bill at the checkout to make a small donation to both the charities.

From this week it is also easier for customers who shop in Express stores to support the charities, with new permanent donation points being placed in every Tesco Express store in the UK for the first time, meaning shoppers will now be able to donate at Express stores year-round. Shoppers can also donate their Tesco Clubcard points online to either of the charities.

Tesco’s Pre-filled donation bags

Tesco Head of Community Claire de Silva said, “This collection marks ten years of us working with the Trussell Trust and FareShare. During that decade our customers have been amazingly generous, donating more than 100 million meals during our food collections and at permanent collection points in stores. This summer we wanted to make it even easier for customers to donate as we know that every can donated really does help.”

Donations are more important than ever as the charities have reported increasing need for food.

Sarah Germain, CEO at FareShare Cymru, said: “Our charities are telling us that the need for food has vastly increased as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, and over the last year we’ve continued to deliver four meals every second to people facing food insecurity across the UK.

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“That’s why we would be immensely grateful to anyone who is able to donate a bag of pasta or tin of vegetables over the Tesco Food Collection weekend – your generous donations will help us continue providing vital support to families struggling to cope this summer.”

Danni Malone, Director of Network Programmes and Innovation at the Trussell Trust added: “Every year, we are amazed by the generosity of Tesco customers who donate to the Food Collection.

“We know that many families on the very lowest incomes have been forced to the doors of food banks to get by, as the nation faces a rapid rise in the cost of living and continues to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic. So, once again, we are calling on shoppers to give generously and make a difference to people who need our support over the coming weeks and months.”

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