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Mouse invasion, pure grain dragons, allergies, and Day of the Dead bread

eggs and flour on a table

As we descend into winter the lovely, comforting fragrance and flavour of freshly-baked bread becomes even more desirable, one of Britain’s favourite comfort foods. Is there anything quite so satisfying as a slice or two of piping hot toast absolutely smothered in creamy butter? We don’t think so. How about you? If you adore bread as much as we do, read on.

Canada’s Loblaw apologises for greedy mouse invasion

House invasions are one thing. Mouse invasions are completely different. You’re a mouse. You love breadcrumbs. Oh, and look – there’s a packet of bread… it’s a match made in heaven. Over in Canada, Loblaw Companies Ltd had to apologise when a customer spotted a real, live mouse in a pack of bread. They’re taking the matter very seriously and are investigating every potential cause. It’s a bit of a mystery since the mouse managed to find its way into the plastic bag the bread was sealed in.

The live mouse was found in a loaf at No Frills, a grocery chain owned by Loblaw. Local Public Health officials have visited No Frills and found nothing to concern them, so it appears the mouse invasion was a one-off. Apparently the creature was so busy eating the bread it didn’t notice the resulting kerfuffle, and the offended customer’s Facebook post of the mouse in action has already been shared more than 24,000 times. That’s what we call one seriously famous mouse!

The firm has apologised profusely to its customers for the ‘concern and inconvenience’ caused.

Robert Sak wins Dragon’s Den funding for his breads

When ex-footballer Robert Sak pitched his Polish pure grain bread to the Dragons on TV’s Dragon’s Den, wonderful things happened. Sak’s fledgling business, Pure Grain Breads, claims to be one of the world’s healthiest breads, Polish breads that are unusually rich in whole grains, seeds and fruits. The entire range is fine for Vegans and is both gluten free and wheat-free.

The North-West London business started life three years ago and is already producing a turnover of half a million a year, partly thanks to the gluten free craze that has hit the western world so hard in recent years. Sak was after an investment of just forty grand for a 10% stake in his business, which is called Heart Of Nature, and he suceeded, inspiring Dragon Deborah Meaden with his wonderful bakes. Good luck, Robert!

Supermarket bakeries are often ‘unclear on allergies’

The BBC has discovered that three British supermarket chains have been giving ‘confusing or incorrect’ information on potentially deadly allergens in their in-store bakeries, namely Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. They all gave either incorrect or unclear details about allergens to reporters working undercover for the BBC’s Watchdog programme. The retailers said they’d immediately review their labelling and also improve staff training, vital in a world where death by allergy can easily lead to charges of corporate manslaughter.

EU law says consumers must be clearly told about 14 key allergens. The list includes nuts, sesame seeds and oil, milk, eggs and wheat. But here in Britain fresh, hand made, non pre-packaged food doesn’t have to contain individual labels on the packaging itself, which means some only give the important information at point of sale.

It wouldn’t be Day of the Dead without bread

The people of Mexico recently celebrated the Day of the Dead. All over the country families prepared for the return of the spirits of their loved ones, namely the souls of dead children on 1st November, and the Day of the Dead on 2nd November, the day everyone else’s souls return.

An altar is a popular sight in many a Mexican home at this time of year, decorated with flowers, candles, water, bread and photos of the dead. Every item has its own special significance, used to guide the spirits home – the scent of the flowers attract the souls, the candles light their way back to the land of the living, and the specially-baked breads are sometimes enjoyed by the living as well as the spirits. But plenty of people believe that after the spirits have eaten their share, the bread loses almost all of its flavour.

Free artisan breads sample, anyone?

We send out big, beautiful boxes of free artisan breads to our fellow players in the foodservice sector. If you’d like to treat your end-customers to something rather special, ask for a sample box and we’ll zoom one right over.