The regional health department undertakes periodic inspections in order to ensure that food and ingredients are safe to all consumers and to avoid ingestion of food that might provoke allergic reactions.
Last year there was a total of 58 alerts raised by the ministry's department for public health and participation. These involved 669 establishments on the islands. The main objective of this intervention was to reduce risk by making sure that there was adequate identification of ingredients that can lead to allergic reactions. Of these 58 alerts, 48 were of a serious risk nature and required swift and effective action. Eight were considered to have been of low risk or where it was not possible to identify food in the distribution chain that had been affected. The other two were for unspecified reasons.
The alerts initially involved 167 establishments, of which 35 had been engaged in distribution to the other 502 establishments. There were 128 different products which were identified in the 58 alerts. These 58 were broken down accordingly: meat and meat products, five; fish and seafood, five; milk and derivatives, two; flour and derivatives, five; vegetables and derivatives, three; stimulants and plant infusions, three; spices and condiments, twelve; prepared food and special foods, twelve; non-alcoholic drinks, three; oils, three; ice cream, one; material in contact with food, four.
The campaign was carried out in different types of establishment engaged in the direct sale of food or food services to the public. In bakeries there were particular investigations into the presence of dried fruits, sesame and eggs. In restaurants it was the undeclared presence of eggs that was of key interest as well as the condition of ingredients.