Bakkavor to close Lincolnshire salads factory, affecting 300 jobs


A local food supplement company had more than 700% of the prescribed limit of mercury in its stock during a Trading Standards investigation last year.

A Trading Standards report due before Lincolnshire County County Council’s Public Protection Committee next Tuesday lists several incidents it was involved in investigating in 2021-22.

The report also noted rising concerns over allergen labeling in the county and reveals how a Lincolnshire food bank was found to be non-compliant during one of its 106 inspections last year.

None of the businesses that were non-compliant are identified in the report.

In one incident, Trading Standards helped the Food Standards Authority to take a food sample from the food supplement company.
“The sample was found to contain excessive levels of mercury, 700% over the prescribed limit. The product had been removed from sale,” said the report.

Other incidents include the unauthorized use of bamboo in melamine (a type of plastic found in many reusable plates, utensils, and cups), excessive levels of pesticide in imported spinach, and high levels of toxins in a number of batches of imported nuts.

In 2021-22, 106 inspections were carried out by the service, with the majority at takeaway and butchers shops.

Those found to be non-compliant include six café/restaurants and five grocers/deli’s and with other businesses also including a brewery, a bakery and a caterer.

Officers said: “Allergen labeling remains an area of ​​concern with noncompliance noted across several business types.

“All businesses have been advised and where appropriate follow up inspections have been included in the 2022-23 inspection plan.”

However, despite the high number of takeaways being examined, they were mostly found to be compliant because they declined to provide allergen free meals when requested.

“This is best practice if the business cannot guarantee any cross contamination,” said the report.

Other concerns included a “significant” level of noncompliance in online sales by butchers.

The organization also received 127 complaints regarding food safety and standards, with the majority of complaints around labeling of products and allergens.

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