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News & Scam Alerts - Coventry Trading Standards


30 January, 2020


News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 29 January 2020

In this issue:
• Prosecution News: Takeaway found to be selling a ‘nut free’ meal that contained nuts
• Cold callers warning – Radford
• Watch out for online 'free trial' subscription scams
• Recall: Knoppers Wafers - Sold at ASDA
• Recall: Cow & Gate baby food - Tesco
• How to report scams

Prosecution News: Takeaway found to be selling a ‘nut free’ meal that contained nuts
A routine sampling survey by Council Trading Standards Officers found a takeaway to be selling a ‘nut free’ meal which was actually found to contain nuts.
Mrs Ronglan You, aged 42, a Director of a company trading as Wok Express, Station Street West, Coventry, together with her husband, Mr Shu Yong Huang, aged 47, the Food Business Operator, appeared at Coventry Magistrates on 22 January following an investigation into food being sold described as nut free when in fact it contained nuts, and the premises being dirty.
A visit to the takeaway by Environmental Health Officers found the kitchen to be in a dirty condition. Previous advice to clean the kitchen and its utensils had been ignored. It was concluded that cross contamination was the most likely reason for the presence of nut protein.

The company, Station Wall Limited, pleaded guilty and received a fine of £20,000. It was also ordered to pay £1081.17 costs plus a victim surcharge of £170.

Mrs You, who also pleaded guilty, was given no separate penalty however, her husband, and Food Business Operator, Mr Huang was fined £384.00 with a victim surcharge of £38 and was also ordered to pay £1,726 prosecution costs for the dirty kitchen.

In November 2018, as part of a routine sampling survey, Coventry Trading Standards Officers placed a telephone order for a ‘nut free’ takeaway Mongolian Crispy Lamb meal.

When the meal was collected Mrs You confirmed the meal was ‘nut free’.

Tests by Trading Standards' food analysts revealed the meal contained 14 times more peanut protein than the threshold needed to cause a reaction in the most sensitive 1% of peanut allergy sufferers.

This amount could have caused a reaction in those who are allergic to peanuts as the consumption of allergens by affected people can have serious health consequences and even lead to death.

All food sold must be described correctly and a food business must be able to give customers accurate information about 14 prescribed allergens that it contains.

Selling any food that is misdescribed or unsafe is a criminal offence and is taken seriously as reflected by the fine issued in this case.
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Cold callers warning – Radford
Trading Standards is warning of cold callers offering to clean gutters, after a report from the Radford area.
An elderly resident living alone was approached and asked if they wanted their gutters cleaned. The resident declined and went back inside but sometime later, the male returned and demanded money, stating the job had been done.
Unsure, but feeling scared, the resident came back to the door with a purse, and the male then removed all the notes which amounted to £130.
This incident was then reported to the police once the victims family became aware.
We would ask that if you have any elderly or vulnerable neighbours that you keep a look out for rogue traders especially if you notice cold callers in your area or anyone acting suspiciously. It would also help if registration numbers of vehicles being used by the cold callers are noted down and reported.
If you have any information that may help us track down these unscrupulous cold callers or you wish to report any incidents involving a rogue trader or doorstep crime, contact us on 03454 04 05 06.
Remember - a trader who ignores any request by you to leave your home and not return commits a criminal offence.
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Watch out for online 'free trial' subscription scams
Trading Standards are warning residents to be mindful when signing up for 'free trials' online after a Cheylesmore resident ended up paying out over £200 after failing to read the small print:
'Free Trial’ scams encourage online shoppers to sign up to receive a free sample of a product but you also have to supply credit or debit card details to cover a small postage charge. However, by signing up you may find that you have automatically subscribed to a membership costing between £70 to £90 a month. This is usually hidden away in the terms and conditions.
The most common products offered in this way are cosmetic products, teeth whitening kits, diet pills and nutritional supplements which may be advertised on Facebook and website pop-ups.
Victims then face difficulties in recovering subscription fees as they may be considered to have agreed to the terms and conditions of the free trial even if they did not read them.
In some cases there may be a tick box which may already be prepopulated to say you have read and understood the terms and conditions. It can then be extremely difficult to cancel and often victims have to approach their bank to try to stop further payments being taken.
Consumers also face the additional problem that many of these companies are located outside the UK, which makes it difficult to take any action against them.
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Recall: Knoppers Wafers - Sold at ASDA
Polish Specialities Ltd is recalling Knoppers Wafers because they contain peanuts which are not mentioned on the label.
This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to peanuts.
Product details
• Knoppers Wafers
• Pack size 25g
• Batch code B52F and B530
• Best before 20th April ‘20 and 27th April ‘20
• Allergens Peanuts
If you have purchased this product, do not eat it.
Instead return it to the store purchased from for a full refund.
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Recall: Cow & Gate baby food - Tesco
The Food Standards Agency have issued the following alert:
Cow & Gate and Tesco are voluntarily recalling 15 varieties of 7+ month Cow & Gate baby food jars (200g) sold by Tesco stores in the UK, as a precautionary measure following concerns that some jars may have been tampered with.
The recall only involves these varieties sold in Tesco stores in the UK. No other Cow & Gate, Tesco or other branded baby products are affected.
The products which have been recalled are listed below:
• Cow & Gate Butternut Squash Chicken & Pasta 7+ months (200g jar)
• Cow & Gate Courgette & Hake Rice 7+ months (200g jar)
• Cow & Gate Yummy Harvest Chicken 7+ months (200g jar)
• Cow & Gate Apple Crumble 7+ months (200g jar)
• Cow & Gate Banana Crumble 7+ months (200g jar)
• Cow & Gate Peach Apple & Kiwi 7+ months (200g jar)
• Cow & Gate Rice Pudding 7+ months (200g jar)
• Cow & Gate Creamy Cauliflower Cheese 7+ months (200g jar)
• Cow & Gate Garden Pea & Turkey 7+ months (200g jar)
• Cow & Gate Potato Spinach & Beef 7+ months (200g jar)
• Cow & Gate Potato & Turkey Roast 7+ months (200g jar)
• Cow & Gate Spaghetti Bolognese 7+ months (200g jar)
• Cow & Gate Succulent Pork Casserole 7+ months (200g jar)
• Cow & Gate Tasty Cottage Pie 7+ months (200g jar)
• Cow & Gate Tomato & Courgette Pasta 7+ months (200g jar)
Please do not feed any Cow & Gate 7+ month baby food jars 200g purchased from Tesco to your baby. Instead return the product to store where you purchased it for a full refund.
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For more information on scams, visit: www.coventry.gov.uk/scams

How to report scams
• If you've received a potential scam message or computer virus but no money has been lost or you haven’t responded to it, contact Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.
• If you have been a victim of a scam, contact Action Fraud (UK’s National Fraud Office) on 0300 123 2040.