Trading Standards bulletin 7 February

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Are you planning to take your pet abroad after 29th March 2019?

The rules for taking your pet to any EU country will change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. Pet passports issued in the UK would not be valid for travel to the EU.

Make sure you plan ahead. You should contact your vet at least 4 months before you plan on travelling to any EU country.

More information here




Cooking for a partner with food allergy can seem like a daunting task, especially on a romantic occasion like Valentine’s Day, when you want everything to be special and you really don’t want to get it wrong! However, asking a few simple questions and doing some forward planning can help ensure a sweet and safe Valentine meal.

Tip 1: Don’t feel embarrassed about asking your date what they can / cannot eat. People will allergies and intolerances are usually quite clued up on what is safe for them (and will be pleased you asked!).

Tip 2: Allergies cannot be ‘cooked out’, no matter how hard you try.

Tip 3: Check ingredients labels for hidden allergens, like tahini (sesame paste) in hummus, fish in sauces, nuts in cooking oil and milk in gravy mixes.

Tip 4: It’s not only food you need to be careful about. Don’t forget to look out for sulphites in wine if you are planning on serving some.

Tip 5: Prevent cross-contamination. Clean work surfaces and equipment thoroughly to remove traces of anything you might have previously cooked. Using hot and soapy water will do the trick nicely.

Tip 6: Be careful with garnishes, sauces, toppings and dressings that might introduce new allergens into a safe dish – like adding chopped nuts or an egg glaze over pastry.

Tip 7: If your date is allergic to something, simply taking it off their plate isn’t enough. A tiny trace of the allergen (food they must avoid) can be enough to cause an allergic reaction.

Tip 8: There are often good substitutes for allergens in most food shops. Ask your date for suggestions of what to buy, where to find it and what they really enjoy eating.

Tip 9: Enjoy the creative challenge. Rather than seeing your date’s allergy as a limitation, view it as an opportunity to try something new. Great ingredients and the care you have taking in planning a suitable meal your date can enjoy is true romance!

Tip 10: Feeling romantic? Kissing is one way to cause an allergic reaction. Allergenic protein can remain in the mouth for around four hours after eating the food. If you’re dating someone with an allergy, try avoiding the food which makes them ill before your date.

And remember: there is no cure for food allergies – the only way for people to manage the condition is to avoid the food that makes them ill.




Have you heard of a new Amazon package scam called “brushing?”

This crime involves having packages you didn’t order from Amazon show up on your doorstep.

At first glance, receiving packages you haven’t paid for might seem like a great problem to have.

The victims are not charged for the items in questions, but also can’t stop the items from being shipped. Scammers engage in this behavior in an effort to make the purchase look genuine and avoid violating Amazon’s terms for reviewing one’s own products.

Again, some people might not think of this as being “victims” of a scam. After all, you’re not being charged for the items, no one has touched your credit card (that you know of), and technically, these items aren’t even stolen since the seller is the one who purchased them.

The reality, though, is being involved in a brushing scam means that someone has gained access to your name, mailing address, and potentially other information. Depending on how they accessed your information, they could be privy to a lot more of your personally identifiable information than you realise.

If you begin receiving packages that are addressed to you but you did not order, contact the retailer immediately. Then change your passwords on your online accounts, just in case the scammer got your address by hacking an account. If the volume of shipments becomes a problem contact Royal Mail for help with holding packages until you can pick them up or otherwise handle the matter.

Report a scam to us by calling the national Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.




Toys feature heavily in the recall list this week, and for a variety of hazards.

Argos are recalling Little Tikes Activity Garden Play Centre as there is a potential for a child’s finger to become trapped between the telephone and the stand.

Smyths Toys have recalled Mini Cupcake Surprise – Assortment. The product does not comply with REACH Regulations, which controls the use of chemical substances.

Animagic – My First Puppy is being recalled due to possible choking hazard.

If you have one of these toys, or think you might have missed any other recalls we have highlighted, following the link below.


Product Recalls


Fraud and Scam Advice


Consumer Rights


Friends Against Scams


Become a Consumer Champion


If you need advice, or want to report a scam or rogue trader, call us via 03454040506.





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