20/02/2015 | John Brennan

Nuts-For-Spices Crisis

20/02/2015 | John Brennan

Nuts-For-Spices Crisis

It has recently come to light that spices such as paprika and cumin contain nuts and nut shells as a substitute for the spice, which could potentially be life threatening to allergy sufferers.

The situation has yet to be fully understood, with authorities still investigating whether this substitution was accidental or fraudulent. After a period of crop failure in India, it is expected that there has been fraud going on. The FSA has said:

“We are still doing our food chain investigation. It is too early to say whether the substitution was deliberate or accidental, whether the cases in the UK are linked and whether there are any links to cases in the US.”

The scandal is said to be even more serious than the horsemeat crisis, due to nut allergies being life-threatening. The substitution of spices for peanuts and almonds can inflict a range of suffering, from mild symptoms such as facial swelling to anaphylaxis, which can prove fatal.

Supermarkets are now recalling products but the crisis is also affecting restaurants. All food outlets have to be very careful with what spice mixes they use, especially with the new allergen legislation that’s only been in place since December last year.

Read more about the new food legislation here. Our February offer for Allergen Audits is still valid – don’t take any unnecessary risks, make sure your business is fully compliant.