Australian bakery Sunfield and its director have been convicted and fined for repeatedly selling cakes containing undeclared food allergens.
The cake manufacturing business and its director Vivien Sun face fines of A$48,000 ($43,521) and legal costs of A$21,000 ($19,059) for failing to declare nut and egg contents in its cakes.
New South Wales (NSW) Food Authority CEO Polly Bennett welcomed the result.
“More than 160,000 people in NSW suffer a food allergy of some sort and statistics show one in ten babies born in Australia today will develop a food allergy,” she said.
“Consumers rely upon the labels to provide accurate information about the foods they buy and consume,” she continued.
“The importance of that label cannot be underestimated, for some people it can literally be a matter of life and death.”
Back in March 2010, an investigation by the NSW Food Authority found that Sunfield was selling cakes without nut declarations on the label. “Despite a formal recall of the products, a number of cakes with the incorrect labels were found by the Authority to be still on sale after the recall,” it said.
In August 2010 the company also sold cakes containing undeclared eggs which resulted in a child suffering an allergic reaction.
The magistrate heading up the conviction said these offences were extremely serious and rejected submissions by the company that it did not realise the seriousness of its actions.
“Just as the wider community does, the NSW Food Authority expects manufacturers to respect their customers, respect the law and meet their responsibilities,” Bennett said.
Due to time difference, it was not possible to contact the company prior to publication.