Trading Standards expert wins consumer protection award

Posted: 5 December 2023 | | No comments yet

Alison Richardson from Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards has won the Megan Lee Hero Award at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

Alison Trading Standards

Celebrating her achievements in consumer protection and food safety, Alison Richardson, a team member at Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards has won the first Megan Lee Hero Award at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) annual Hero Awards ceremony.

The Hero Awards ceremony celebrates outstanding achievements in consumer protection, recognising individuals and groups that have “gone above and beyond to protect consumers and support honest businesses”.

Hosted by CTSI and Yvonne Fovargue MP in the House of Commons, the “Megan Lee Award” given at the Hero Awards ceremony was named in honour of Megan Lee, who lost her life at the age of 15 after eating a takeaway with undisclosed allergens.

“The Megan Lee Hero Award is one that is close to our hearts here at CTSI as we have supported Megan’s parents in their campaign work to raise awareness about the dangers of undisclosed allergens and to help avoid another family from losing a loved one. They are an inspiration to us all,” said John Herriman, Chief Executive of the CTSI.

“Alison has demonstrated a dedication to ensuring food safety is a priority in Staffordshire and is such a worthy winner of this special Award,” continued Herriman.

CTSI shared that it created this award to recognise individuals or groups that have “done something outstanding to protect the public from serious food safety breaches”.

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Applauded for her work in leading Operation Taste, Richardson was in charge of an investigation that carried out food standards inspections at 2500 retail premises that were traditionally rated as low risk. During the inspections, Alison found multiple issues which resulted in multiple product recalls and notifications made to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) Incidents Team.

 “Alison is a true asset to our Trading standards Service and is well respected by peers locally and regionally for her technical knowledge, commitment, and drive. Alison’s interventions have no doubt saved members of the public from serious food safety breaches that could have led to more tragic fatalities,” said Stephanie Young, Trading Standards Lead at Staffordshire County Council.

Speaking to New Food about the Megan Lee Hero Award, Richardson said: “I’m sure I speak for everyone at Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards when I say how sorry we are for the loss of Megan Lee, and we send our best wishes to her family. 

“I was honoured to win this award in Megan’s name doing a job I love- advising food businesses on how to remain compliant with ever-changing food law. Allergen control may seem to be yet another burdensome rule placed on business, but it can, and does become lethal so very easily.

“If there are businesses out there who do not understand the rules, then please ask. The last thing we want is another waste of such a young life.” Richardson concluded.