Martin Kersh, Executive Director of the Foodservice Packaging Association warns of carrier bag confusion at take-aways with the introduction on Monday October 5th of the carrier bag charge in England.
Kersh says: “We welcome the advice of the Food Standards Agency in advising consumers to take care with bags when they reuse them, particularly with regard to the dangers of placing ready to eat food in bags previously used for items such as meat, fish and frozen chicken.
“We suspect many consumers may not realise they must separate bags used for raw food from those used for ready to eat food and we believe the FSA should issue really clear advice to the take-way sector that under no circumstances should ready to consume take-away food items be placed in a bag brought to the store by the consumer.
“It is not fair to expect takeaway restaurant staff to ascertain how a bag brought into their store has been previously used. Therefore an unused bag should always be used to avoid any possibility of risk. For this reason alone the principle should be established that there should be no charge for bags used to convey ready to eat takeaway food.
“We are very concerned that members of the public bringing their own bags to a takeaway may be annoyed and possibly confrontational when asked to pay for a bag so we ask the FSA to ensure their guidance on this issue is more widely known. The protection of public health is of paramount importance.”