Pret appoints former FSA CEO to lead Food Advisory Panel

Sandwich chain Pret a Manger has appointed Tim J Smith, former CEO, Food Standards Agency (FSA) to lead its Food Advisory Panel, and is to add allergen awareness stickers to all sandwiches and salads.

Clive Schlee, CEO of Pret, 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 J 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.'

Schlee continued, '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.'

Tim J Smith, Chair of Pret’s Food Advisory Panel, said, “We’ve all been struck by the recent rise in incidents caused by allergens in our food. Pret has recognised its responsibility to do what it can to deal with this as a priority, working in partnership across the industry.

'As we continue the progress which has already been made, it’s clear that giving customers the best possible information will be top of our agenda.”