Denise Crane, technical director, BCCCA

first_imgIn May, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) board voted unanimously that the mandatory fortification of baked goods with folic acid should be recommended to UK health ministers, to help prevent birth defects. The options were either to add folic acid to flour or bread. The BCCCA proposes that it should be bread.While we support what the FSA is trying to achieve, we have serious concerns about its impact on the export market for biscuits and cakes, currently worth £80m per year. Despite the notion of free trade within Europe, there is evidence that certain markets do not accept the fortification of standard food products.In countries that do permit fortification, there are often stringent requirements and significant administrative burdens attached, the costs of which are hidden in lower productivity. As it is the European export market that is the most significant for biscuit and cake manufacturers, these effects will pose large risks.In addition to these costs and complexities, labelling changes will also be required, adding folic acid to the ingredients list of all flour-containing products made in the UK. The cost to biscuit and cake manufacturers would be in the region of £5m.There can be no doubt that the UK cake and biscuit markets are highly competitive. The last few years have seen a series of biscuit and cake factory closures. Cost-effective exports are an essential part of making UK manufacturing viable.last_img read more


first_img…the dollar growth in the world market for bakery snacks predicted for the period 2007 to 2010, with sales in the USA and Canada together expected to rise by US$5.3 billion, according to a new report by Global Industry Analysts.On the other hand… Snack Food Trends in the US, a new report from Packaged Facts, says carefree snacking Stateside is over. Sales of cookies and bakery snacks plummeted by $334m from 2001-2005. The phrase “lies, damn lies and statistics” springs to mind.last_img

SAMB delivers power to board

first_imgThe Scottish Association of Master Bakers (SAMB) took the momentous decision to change the whole set-up of its board at its conference last weekend.Delegates to the event, held at the Peebles Hydro Hotel from 24 to 27 May, first listened to a presentation by Lewis Maclean, MD of Maclean’s of Forres, which has three shops and a wholesale business. Maclean said proposed changes were based on a perception that the current structure – of office bearers, standing com- mittee convenors, regional representatives and co-opted members – needed overhauling.Maclean said: “This structure makes the board a passive reci-pient of a series of reports about the work of others. Much of the decision-taking process within the SAMB bypasses the board.”Earlier in the year, the SAMB had asked members of the (under) 40 Group to develop ideas for the strategic development of the board. It had also listened to opinion from current and honorary members. Past SAMB president, Ian Terris, of William Stephens Bakery in Fife, said: “There’s a thorny branch to be grasped here and someone needs to do it.”With a resolution passed to change the structure of the board, members will now be ’empowered to make things happen’ said Maclean. New committee structures will now be put under the direct control of the board, with all members able to apply to serve on the board, removing the practice of reserved board seats for heads of committees.Also at the conference, George Stevenson, MD of Mathieson’s of Falkirk, took over from Joe Macdonald as president.l For a full report, see pg 38—-=== In Short ===Doughnut packLinpac has added a four-doughnnut box to its range. Made of APET, the packaging contains no ribs or tilts in order to give consumers the best view of the products. It is also compact in design to save on shelf space.Sammies winnersThe winners of the British Sandwich Industry Awards, the Sammies, were announced at a ceremony at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel on 15 May. Among the winners was Fred de Luca, the American founder of the Subway chain, who was honoured with The British Sandwich Industry Award for the success of his international chain, opening 1,198 UK shops over the last few years.Free-from accoladesThe first Free-from Awards were presented by Antony Worrall Thompson on 21 May. Organised by Food Matters, the awards took place at Thompson’s Notting Grill restaurant in West London. Among the winners was Roley’s bakery, which won the FAIR trophy for the Best Free-from Food 2008 for its Teff Flour Mix. The awards covered the main free-from sectors including wheat, dairy and egg.Welsh successFinsbury Food Group has won ’Welsh Business of the Year’ at the Western Mail Business Awards on 23 May. The title recognises the company’s contribution to Welsh industry and celebrates its success as a leading local bakery business.US bread prices upUS food prices will rise by 5% this year, propelled by sharply higher prices for bread, cookies and other bakery goods, according to the US Department of Agriculture. The USDA said prices of cereals and bakery products would rise 8%, up 2% from its initial forecast.last_img read more

Giles Foods’ investment aims to double turnover

first_imgGiles Foods will double production at its Milton Keynes factory next year by opening a second unit next to its Pain Artisan bakery.The new unit, which will increase total production space at the site to over 9,000sq m, will be dedicated to garlic bread and dough ball production, with four lines in place and room for three more. Around £2-£3m will be spent on fitting out the unit, raising the site’s current turnover of £17m to a potential £30-£40m.As well as increasing garlic bread production, the move will free up space in the company’s current unit for the production of artisan breads, such as French and Italian products. “It will give us more space to reconfigure lines and achieve greater efficiences,” sales and marketing director David Marx told British Baker. “We have seen good growth in added-value breads in all areas of the business: retail, foodservice and wholesale.”As reported by British Baker in June, Giles Foods’ Warminster plant, which manu-factures Danish pastries and Belgian buns, is set to be expanded by a third, with the addition of a new unit. The site has been significantly upgraded over the past three years, with a new Comas pie and tart line.The company’s projected turnover for 2009 is £20m up from £16.8m last year.last_img read more

BSB sets out plans for AGM and dinner

first_imgThe British Society of Baking (BSB) will host a four-course dinner, including a talk by well-known BBC sports journalist Garry Richardson, as part of its AGM.It will take place on Monday evening, 22 March, during the Baking Industry Exhibition (BIE), March 21-24 at the Birmingham NEC. The meal, at the Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club in Birmingham, is open to members and non-members, offering a chance to relax with colleagues after the show.The dinner costs £60 for BSB members and £65 for non-members. Pre-dinner drinks are 6.30-7.30pm in the Woodlands Suite Bar, followed by a four-course dinner and entertainment. Bed and breakfast at the Forest of Arden Hotel costs £135 per room. Download a booking form at or tel: Sharon Byrne on 01869 247098.Chairman Andy Pollard, who has led BSB for four years, will hand over to Keith Houliston.last_img read more

Soup firm branches out into quiche market

first_imgNew Covent Garden has made a break away from fresh soups and has launched its first range of chilled quiches. The firm, which also offers a range of risottos, has made the decision to diversify in order to strengthen its brand’s all-year-round appeal.Group marketing manager Andrew Ovens told British Baker that the move into quiches came after feedback from existing consumers revealed they also liked to buy quiches, but found that the category lacked innovation. The quiches will be manufactured under licence by Meadowbrook Bakery, part of Thomas Food Group based in Milton Keynes. The range currently consists of three 400g quiches in carrot and coriander, broccoli and stilton, and smoked salmon varieties. A twin-pack of pea and ham and asparagus and vintage Cheddar is also being developed, and Ovens said the company intended to keep updating the range as part of its brand proposition to offer “fresh new flavours”.Listings have already been secured in Asda and Waitrose. “We are exploring other retail channels too,” he added.last_img read more

Stephen Ort passes away

first_imgStephen Ort, previously a regular contributor to British Baker, died recently after a long illness. Originally involved in the family business in Leighton Buzzard, he contributed to a regular column to BB upon the retirement of his father, George.Involved in the practical side of the baking trade he was a long-standing board member for the London Bulk Buying Association. He studied for a National Diploma of Baking at the National Bakery School, then the Borough Polytechnic, before gaining experience in bakeries throughout the UK and Australia. He helped spearhead the enlargement of the family business, the detail of which often featured in his articles in BB. Upon the closure of the business, he tried various facets of the bakery trade before buying and running a hotel in the Lake District with his wife. In addition to his wife, he leaves four adult children and close to a baker’s dozen of grandchildren.last_img read more

Q & A

first_imgQWhat is the proper comparator in a disability discrimination claim?AThe Court of Appeal has confirmed, in Aylott v Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, that it is “someone who had behaved in the same way as the person concerned, but [who] did not suffer from that person’s disability”. So the old comparator someone who had not acted in the way that led to the dismissal or detriment no longer applies.The DDA (s3A(5) requires comparison to be with a non-disabled person “whose relevant circumstances, including his abilities, are the same as, or not materially different from, those of the disabled person”.However, as from 1 October 2010, the Equality Act 2010 introduces a new concept of “discrimination arising from disability”, which will prohibit an employer from treating a disabled employee in a way that, because of their disability, is to their detriment and that cannot be objectively justified.This will not require the disabled person to show that his or her treatment is less favourable than that experienced by a comparator and focuses simply on whether the detrimental treatment is linked to the disability.last_img read more

Press release: PHE publishes independent expert e-cigarettes evidence review

first_imgThe report covers e-cigarette use among young people and adults, public attitudes, the impact on quitting smoking, an update on risks to health and the role of nicotine. It also reviews heated tobacco products.The main findings of PHE’s evidence review are that: vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits e-cigarettes could be contributing to at least 20,000 successful new quits per year and possibly many more e-cigarette use is associated with improved quit success rates over the last year and an accelerated drop in smoking rates across the country many thousands of smokers incorrectly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking; around 40% of smokers have not even tried an e-cigarette there is much public misunderstanding about nicotine (less than 10% of adults understand that most of the harms to health from smoking are not caused by nicotine) the use of e-cigarettes in the UK has plateaued over the last few years at just under 3 million the evidence does not support the concern that e-cigarettes are a route into smoking among young people (youth smoking rates in the UK continue to decline, regular use is rare and is almost entirely confined to those who have smoked) Read the report commissioned by PHE – Evidence review of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products – McNeill A, Brose LS, Calder R, Bauld L & Robson D (2018). Over the past few years, e-cigarette use has hovered at just under 6% of the adult population in Britain. The most common reason for e-cigarette use continues to be to help with quitting and they are the most popular quitting tool in England. At the same time, quit success rates have been improving and we are also seeing an accelerated drop in smoking rates (currently 15.5% in England): 79,000 people in England die every year as a result of smoking, and over half of long-term smokers will die from a smoking-related illness if they do not quit: Nicotine without smoke: tobacco harm reduction, Royal College of Physicians, April 2016. PHE’s evidence review comes just a few weeks after a US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report on e-cigarettes. Their conclusion on e-cigarette safety also finds that based on the available evidence ‘e-cigarettes are likely to be far less harmful than combustible tobacco cigarettes.’Professor John Newton, Director for Health Improvement at PHE said: Smoking Toolkit Study. ASH (May 2017) Use of e-cigarettes (vapourisers) among adults in Great Britain. Bauld, Linda, Anne Marie MacKintosh, Brian Eastwood, Allison Ford, Graham Moore, Martin Dockrell, Deborah Arnott, Hazel Cheeseman, and Ann McNeill. ‘Young people’s use of e-cigarettes across the United Kingdom: Findings from five surveys 2015–2017.’ International journal of environmental research and public health 14, no. 9 (2017): 973. Professor Linda Bauld, author and Professor of Health Policy, University of Stirling and Chair in Behavioural Research for Cancer Prevention, Cancer Research UK said: Concern has been expressed that e-cigarette use will lead young people into smoking. But in the UK, research clearly shows that regular use of e-cigarettes among young people who have never smoked remains negligible, less than 1%, and youth smoking continues to decline at an encouraging rate. We need to keep closely monitoring these trends, but so far the data suggest that e-cigarettes are not acting as a route into regular smoking amongst young people. It’s of great concern that smokers still have such a poor understanding about what causes the harm from smoking. When people smoke tobacco cigarettes, they inhale a lethal mix of 7,000 smoke constituents, 70 of which are known to cause cancer. People smoke for the nicotine, but contrary to what the vast majority believe, nicotine causes little if any of the harm. The toxic smoke is the culprit and is the overwhelming cause of all the tobacco-related disease and death. There are now a greater variety of alternative ways of getting nicotine than ever before, including nicotine gum, nasal spray, lozenges and e-cigarettes. Towards a Smokefree Generation: A Tobacco Control Plan for England Department of Health, July 2017. Authors’note on evidence for ‘around 95% safer’ estimate. e-cigarettes, alongside nicotine replacement therapies are available for sale in hospital shops vaping policies support smokers to quit and stay smokefree smoking shelters be removed frontline staff take every opportunity to encourage and support patients to quit PHE 2015 e-cigarettes evidence review: McNeill A., P. Hajek et al, E-cigarettes – an evidence update: A report commissioned by Public Health England, Public Health England, August. Every minute someone is admitted to hospital from smoking, with around 79,000 deaths a year in England alone. Our new review reinforces the finding that vaping is a fraction of the risk of smoking, at least 95% less harmful, and of negligible risk to bystanders. Yet over half of smokers either falsely believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking or just don’t know. It would be tragic if thousands of smokers who could quit with the help of an e-cigarette are being put off due to false fears about their safety. PHE is calling on smokers and a number of bodies to act on the evidence.SmokersAnyone who has struggled to quit should try switching to an e-cigarette and get professional help. The greatest quit success is among those who combine using an e-cigarette with support from a local stop smoking service.Local stop smoking services and healthcare professionalsThese should provide behavioural support to those smokers wanting to quit with the help of an e-cigarette. A new training course on e-cigarettes for healthcare professionals by the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training is now live.Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)MHRA continue their work in regulating and licensing e-cigarette products and support manufacturers to expedite the licensing of e-cigarettes as medicinal quit aids. PHE believes there is compelling evidence that e-cigarettes be made available to NHS patients.NHS TrustsTo become truly smokefree, Trusts should ensure The government’s new Tobacco Control Plan for England includes a commitment to ‘maximise the availability of safer alternatives to smoking’. It makes clear that e-cigarettes have an important part to play in achieving the ambition for a smokefree generation.Background NHS Digital, Statistics on Smoking: England, 2017. US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (January 2018) Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes. Professor Ann McNeill, lead author and Professor of Tobacco Addiction at King’s College London said: About Public Health EnglandPublic Health England exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. We do this through world-leading science, knowledge and intelligence, advocacy, partnerships and providing specialist public health services. We are an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care, and a distinct organisation with operational autonomy. We provide government, local government, the NHS, Parliament, industry and the public with evidence-based professional, scientific expertise and support. Follow us on Twitter: @PHE_uk and Facebook: read more

Press release: Diabetes test strips recalled in new alert

first_img 10153116 10153114 10153115 10153112 10153111 Media enquiries News centreMHRA10 South ColonnadeLondonE14 4PU Email [email protected] It is important people check their test strips and if necessary seek alternatives as soon as possible. If people have any questions about their blood glucose readings when using these test strips and meters they should speak with their doctor or pharmacist. We continue to encourage people to report any issues involving medical devices to MHRA via our Yellow Card Scheme. It is incredibly important that people living with diabetes are able to rely on the technology that is designed to help them manage their blood sugar, so we’d strongly recommend that anyone using these test strips check their batch numbers and get replacement strips accordingly. Inaccurate readings could mean you over- or under-dose with insulin, which in the short term can cause problems with hyper and hypoglycaemia. If you’re worried about your readings, we’d recommend speaking to your GP or a pharmacist as soon as possible. ACCU-CHEK PERFORMA STRIPS (10s) 476597 476646 Accu-Chek Inform II strips (professional use only) 476614 People with diabetes are advised to stop using and return specific lots of Accu-Chek Aviva and Accu-Chek Performa test strips following a recent recall by the manufacturer.Accu-Chek Inform II test strips have also been recalled but are supplied in the UK by Roche for professional use only.The test strips, commonly used by diabetics for blood glucose testing, may give increased strip error messages prior to dosing with blood and in some cases may give falsely high or low readings which may be hard to detect.The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are urging users to check the lot numbers of their test strips against the lot numbers listed in the table below. More information can be found in this field safety notice. It is estimated that more than 260,000 packs have been affected.If anyone finds they have test strips from the affected lots, they are advised to seek alternative testing methods and return affected lots to their pharmacy or shop where they will be offered a replacement.It is also advised anyone with concerns about their blood glucose readings should discuss this with a healthcare professional.Affected productsACCU-CHEK AVIVA STRIPS (50s) 497392 497391 496915 496809 496802 496807center_img ACCU-CHEK AVIVA STRIPS (10s) 497344 497392 Dan Howarth, Head of Care at Diabetes UK said: John Wilkinson, MHRA’s Director of Medical Devices said: Accu-Chek Performa Nano mmol Kit(Please note the FSN only applies to the pack of Performa 10 test strips contained within the kit) During office hours: 020 3080 7651 (08:30 – 17:00) Out of office hours: 07770 446 189 (17:00 – 08:30) Office hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm. For real-time updates including the latest press releases and news statements, see our Twitter channel at read more