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Alcoholic Beverages

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 15 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the implications for (a) people allergic to alcohol and (b) recovering alcoholics of outlets selling non-alcoholic beverages which contain small traces of alcohol.[109235]

People with allergies and recovering alcoholics, or those who are particularly sensitive to the effects of alcohol, will be aware of their individual needs and will act accordingly to ensure their well being. Additionally, they will be able to look to the labelling to ensure they are able to consume any particular labelled product.All alcoholic drinks are required by law to have the amount of alcohol they contain marked on the drink container. Any alcoholic drink containing 0.5 per cent. or under will be covered by the labelling regulations. The Food Labelling Regulations 1996 (as amended) require the majority of foods, including non-alcoholic drinks, to list their ingredients. Consequently, if alcohol is an ingredient, this will be on the label of the product. However, alcohol may also be used as a solvent for some flavouring. In this case, it will be present in the final food at low levels. Alcohol may be inadvertently present, for example, due to the fermentation which occurs when fruit juice is opened and stored.