Monday, April 29, 2013

Supermarket forced to pull packets of Whole Hearted Roasted Monkey Nuts from the shelves...because nuts aren't listed as ingredient

Monkey nuts seems to be a British term for peanuts (goober nuts; groundnuts) still in their shell.  The packaging  was transparent so customers could see that it contained unhulled peanuts.  Anybody aware that they had an allergy would surely know what the product looked like.  But bureaucracy is not paid to think and it doesn't

A Lancashire supermarket chain has been forced to clear its shelves of monkey nuts - because the label doesn't state that the packet contains nuts.

Booths Food, Wine and Grocery has withdrawn its Whole Hearted Roasted Monkey Nuts and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued an Allergy Alert.

The company is concerned the label doesn't state the packet contains peanuts, putting those allergic to them at risk.

The withdrawn product is Booths Whole Hearted Roasted Monkey Nuts, 350g, best before July 12, 2013.

A spokesperson for the FSA said: 'The reason for the withdrawal is that the packaging does not state the product contains peanuts, which is a specific allergen that's listed in legislation.

'People who are allergic to peanuts may not be allergic to other types of nuts. The product's packaging is transparent, but the nuts are still in the shells i.e. sold as monkey nuts rather than specifically as peanuts.

The FSA added: `EH Booths has withdrawn the product with the above date code from sale.  `Customer notices will be displayed in stores, alerting customers to the reason for the withdrawal.  `The company will also contact the relevant allergy support organisations, which will tell their members of the withdrawal.

`Customers with an allergy to peanuts are advised not to eat this product but to return it to the nearest EH Booths store for a full refund.  `No other EH Booths products are known to be affected.'

'Without the correct information on the packaging, people with an allergy to peanuts - who might not know or make the connection between peanuts and monkey nuts, for example children - might eat the product and experience an adverse reaction.'

Booths said it takes the accurate labelling very seriously.  Technical manager, Waheed Hassan, alerted the FSA to this error immediately as well as posting notices in all Booths stores.

`It is our responsibility as retailers to accurately record allergy advice, and in this instance, we felt a responsibility to recall the product and issue a notice to our customers who might suffer from a specific peanut allergy,' he said.

It is the second product the company has had to withdraw within weeks.  Last month, the store withdrew some of its Edamame Bean Stir Fry because it contained soya.


House of Fraser manager sues employer for £1MILLION after 'suffering crippling injuries picking up an earring'

A department store manager is suing her employers for more than £1million claiming she suffered crippling injuries at work while bending down to pick up an earring.

Safaa Pate, 31, was running a Coast clothes and accessories concession at the High Wycombe branch of House of Fraser but has not been able to work since the incident in January 2009.

Ms Pate, who walks with a stick, says she suffered 'irreparable' back injuries and was left in 'unbearable' pain while retrieving a earring which had fallen under a display unit, her legal team claims.

In a writ lodged at London's High Court, Ms Pate, of Bray, Berkshire, says that she has had to undergo a spinal fusion operation and had been left with no feeling in her left leg and foot.

She is suing the Coast Fashions brand, blaming breaches of heath and safety at work regulations for her back problems.

However the company deny any wrongdoing, saying Ms Pate 'should have used a stick' to retrieve the dropped earring and arguing she was 'the author of her own misfortune.'

In the writ, Ms Pate's barrister, Caroline McColgan, sets out the details of the accident saying: 'She was performing a stock-take of items within the concession. As she was inventorying some jewellery, she dropped an earring onto the floor. It fell underneath one of the gondolas.

'She bent down and put her hand under the gondola in order to retrieve the earring. However, it had landed too far in from the edge and she was unable to reach it without moving the gondola out of the way. As she did so she heard a clicking noise and felt her back give way.

'She experienced increasing levels of pain over the course of the day. When it became unbearable she was compelled to leave work and attend hospital for treatment.'

The barrister claims that Ms Pate's employers were guilty of breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, and had 'failed to take reasonable steps to provide her with a safe system of work.'

In their defence to the action, Coast admit that they 'owed Ms Pate a duty of care as her employer at the material time' but deny responsibility for any harm she suffered.

Lawyers for the company state: 'Ms Pate's work was light work. She had to move clothes...but she was not required to lift or carry anything of substance.

'It is denied she was required to move the gondolas or that this formed any part of her employment. It was not Ms Pate's responsibility nor part of her job to move the stands and gondolas.

'It is denied it was sensible or reasonable or other than a breach of her own duty to take care to try to push or move the gondola to reach the earrings.'

The case is set to come to trial in November this year and is expected to be heard by Judge Richard Seymour QC.

Coast's barrister, Caroline Allen, said outside court after a preliminary hearing that Ms Pate was making a 'large damages claim' in excess of £1m.


The power of prayer: Believing in God can help treat depression

Belief in God may improve treatment for those suffering with depression, says a new study.

Faith in a higher being has been found to significantly improve treatment for people suffering with a psychiatric illness, according to research carried out by McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts.

Researchers followed 159 patients over the course of a year at the Behavioral Health Partial Hospital program at McLean to investigate the relationship between a  patient's level of belief in God, expectations for treatment and actual treatment outcomes.

Each participant was asked to gauge their belief in God as well as their expectations for treatment outcome on a five-point scale.

Levels of depression, wellbeing, and self-harm were assessed at the beginning and end of their treatment program.

Researchers found that patients with 'no' or only 'slight' belief in God were twice as likely not to respond to treatment than patients with higher levels of belief.

And more than 30 per cent of patients claiming no specific religious affiliation still saw the same benefits in treatment if their belief in God was rated as moderately or very high.

Researchers concluded that a belief in God is associated with improved treatment outcomes in psychiatric care.

The study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, said : 'Our work suggests that people with a moderate to high level of belief in a higher power do significantly better in short-term psychiatric treatment than those without, regardless of their religious affiliation.

Belief was associated with not only improved psychological wellbeing, but a decrease in depression and intention to self-harm, explained David Rosmarin, McLean Hospital clinician and instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical.

He added: 'I hope that this work will lead to larger studies and increased funding in order to help as many people as possible.'

Previous studies have highlighted the power of prayer on a person's health.

Research at San Francisco General Hospital monitored the effects of prayer on 393 cardiac patients.

Patients were asked if they wanted to take part in the trial but were not told whether they would be the subject of prayers.

Half were prayed for by a group of strangers who only had the patients' names.

Those who were prayed for had fewer complications, fewer cases of pneumonia and needed less drug treatment.  They also improved more quickly and were able to leave hospital earlier.

A separate study, at Columbia University in New York, asked people in Australia, the U.S. and Canada to pray for named people undergoing IVF treatment in Korea.

Of the group in Korea, half had prayers said about them by the foreign strangers.  Among this half, the success rate for implantation of the embryo in the womb went up from 8 per cent to 16 per cent. Cases of successful conception - where the foetus started developing - went up from 25 to 50 per cent.


Swedish school brings in 'gender neutral' changing rooms to avoid teenagers being labelled male or female

A school in a liberal Swedish suburb is to open a gender-neutral changing room in an effort to discourage gender stereotypes and promote gay rights.

Patrik Biverstedt, headmaster of the Soedra Latins upper secondary school in Sodermalm, Stockholm, says they decided on the cubicle after students proposed it last year.

Students' union member Camille Trombetti says the changing room is not only 'for transsexual' students.

Any student who wants privacy when changing for school activities but doesn't want to feel constrained by traditional gender norms can use it.

Soedra Latins is in the same affluent district where children at a popular preschool are encouraged to avoid using 'him' and 'her' and to call others 'friends' instead of girls or boys.

Sweden has for the past few years been making efforts to socially engineer equality between the sexes from the earliest stages of childhood.

Miss Trombetti told Sweden's English-language news site The Local that school staff had welcomed the idea for gender-neutral changing rooms when it was proposed by the student council.

'They were very positive and welcoming but we had to figure out how to do it practically,' she said, adding that she hopes the idea will now be taken more seriously by the wider public.

'Every human being deserves a place where they feel comfortable,' she said.

'I'd remind people that hundreds of people commit suicide every year because they feel they are born into the wrong sex and don't feel their surroundings accept the gender they identify with.'

Students at Soedra Latins have been at the forefront of gay rights struggles in Sweden.

The school's student council were the first to march in Stockholm's Gay Pride parade last year and they have encouraged teachers to use gender neutral pronouns when referring to pupils.

The introduction of the new changing room comes two years after teachers at the nearby Egalia preschool began encouraging youngsters to stop referring to each other by their sex.

The colour and placement of toys and the choice of books at the nursery are carefully planned to try to prevent pupils being affected by stereotypes.

The decision to implement the rules was underpinned by a theory that existing social structures give boys an unfair advantage.

Nearly all the children's books at Egalia deal with homosexual couples, single parents or adopted children. There are no 'Snow White,' 'Cinderella' or other fairy tales.

Director Lotta Rajalin said in 2011 that Egalia places a special emphasis on fostering an environment tolerant of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gender people.

But even in liberal Sweden the school's methods are controversial. Ms Rajalin claimed the staff have received threats from racists apparently upset about the preschool's use of black dolls.

Soedra Latins's gender-neutral changing room will be opened on May 6 by artist Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin, who is well known in Sweden for her photographic work on gay rights.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL  and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine).   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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