Healthy without allergens… or is it??

Well done to Pret for making significant changes to its labelling of freshly prepared food!  What a price to pay though!!! It has taken the utmost outcome of death to move things in the right direction.  Let’s see if Pret is leading the way for other reputable chains to follow suit.

I work in London City and there is no shortage of choices for food.  In the City’s Square Mile, most of the food places are well known ones such as Pret, Itsu, Leon … Many ‘healthy’ options are on their menu… but is it???

I went to one of those food places for lunch recently and was pleasantly surprised to find ‘quinoa burger’ listed on the menu. “Quinoa??? Wow!!” I thought.  I use quinoa both as grains and flour in the breads and rotis that I bake.  I also use them to make burgers and falafel that are free from all the main 14 allergens.  So, there was no surprise that this menu item caught my attention.  Being a freshly made food, there was no mention of its ingredients.  I asked a member of staff what the ingredients of the quinoa burger were.  Instead of telling me all the ingredients (I guess the establishment was protecting its recipe) he printed out the list of allergens which is what I was mainly interested in.  What can I say?  The quinoa burger had all the allergens under the sun (well not really but it had a few of the main allergens) … see for yourself in the picture!!

Do I need to add anything else??

Bottom line – whilst many food places are jumping on the band wagon of ‘healthy’ food, watch out what is added to improve taste, look, texture, shelf life or whatever else.  For those with a food allergy or intolerance, know what you are eating and scrutinise (specially) what is not clearly or boldly displayed/advertised…

Marie-Anne Rasé