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Wed 31st Oct 2018 - Pret hires former FSA boss as it sets up new food advisory panel on allergens
Pret hires former FSA boss as it sets up new food advisory panel on allergens: Pret A Manger has hired former Food Standards Agency chief executive Tim Smith to set up a food advisory panel to review its allergen policies and procedures. The company has pledged to “drive change” in the industry in the wake of a coroner finding its labelling was “inadequate” in the case of a girl who died after eating one of its baguettes. Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15, went into cardiac arrest on a flight after eating an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette bought at Heathrow airport in 2016. Writing in his blog, Pret chief executive Clive Schlee said: “Earlier this month, I said we would learn the lessons from the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse. Two weeks ago, we made full ingredient information for all our products available in our shops and online. From next week, we will be placing allergen awareness stickers on the packaging of all our sandwiches and salads for the first time. We have also made a clear commitment to full ingredient labelling on product packaging. We will be launching a trial of full ingredient labels on all freshly prepared products at one of our shops in Victoria in London this November, and we will be making further changes to help customers over the coming months. Our aim is to find the clearest possible way of informing and protecting every customer. To help us do this, Pret has appointed Tim Smith, the former chief executive of the Food Standards Agency, to set up a food advisory panel. The panel will include anaphylaxis campaigners and medical professionals among others and will examine all aspects of how we approach the food safety issues associated with allergies. Tim is a hugely experienced business leader and has spent his career working in the food industry. He and the panel will provide a rigorous external perspective on the changes we need to make. Based on the findings from the trial and customer feedback, Tim and the panel will produce clear recommendations on how Pret can best protect and inform customers with allergies for the future. Our aim is to do everything we can to help customers make informed choices and keep them safe. I am always interested in hearing your suggestions and I will of course keep you updated on our progress.”

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