faqs

Frequently Asked Questions



INGREDIENTS

No. We make both Wheat & Gluten Free and non-Gluten Free foods. But all are classified as Free-From and Artisan.

We understand not all our customers have wheat and gluten intolerance or have Coeliac Disease or are on a LowFODMAP diet. But they may have allergy or intolerance to other ingredients.

All our recipes and products are and have been free-from the 12-14 major food allergens since we started back in 2009, which must be declared in accordance with the developing food laws of UK and EU.

All our products are listed in the following two categories:

  • Gluten-Free Food: Naturally free from the 14 main food allergens which must be declared and labelled by law (see list of the below)
  • Non-Gluten-Free Food: made using gluten and wheat containing cereal grains BUT are naturally free from all the remaining 12 main food allergens (see the list below)

The 14 main food allergens which must be declared and labelled by law on all food products are:

  • Gluten-Free Food: Naturally free from the 14 main food allergens which must be declared and labelled by law (see list of the below)
  • Non-Gluten-Free Food: made using gluten and wheat containing cereal grains BUT are naturally free from all the remaining 12 main food allergens (see the list below)

The 14 main food allergens which must be declared and labelled by law on all food products are:

  • Wheat
  • Gluten
  • Cereals (including rye, barley, and oats)
  • Dairy
  • Egg
  • Soy / Soybean
  • Peanuts
  • Sesame
  • Tree Nuts (including tree nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecan, pistachios, macadamia nuts)
  • Celery and Celeriac
  • Mustard
  • Fish
  • Shellfish (such as prawns, crabs and lobsters)
  • Molluscs (such as mussels and oysters)
  • Added Sulphur Dioxide and Sulphites

All ingredients used to make the products are listed in the “ingredients” section below the product. All food allergens will be highlighted in bold plus have a separate warning note underneath stating which food allergens are present.

Yes, we make a complete dedicated range of products that are naturally gluten and milk / dairy free. Made with dedicated equipment and utensils to prevent risk of cross contamination.

Yes, all our products naturally free from All Nuts (ground nuts and tree nuts) and sesame. Our production facility is nut-free and sesame-free. Training is provided to all staff on the importance of not eating and not bringing products that contain or may contain nuts onto premises. We emphasise the importance of no nuts on our premises to all visitors before entering our premises.

Yes. We only use halal meat from HMC Accredited suppliers. This we understand maybe an issue with some who for religious or other reasons don’t wish to purchase halal meat. We have an excellent range of non-meat products we are sure you will enjoy.

We only use BRC accredited and suppliers with at least Red Tractor Accreditation. Meat and poultry are from British farms around Midlands and southern UK. We maintain close relationships to ensure that the ingredients we use are of the highest possible quality and the perfect fit for our delicious products our customers have come to expect.

Some ingredients are organic. To keep cost as low as possible we cannot source only organic ingredients. It is in our future plans to create some products that are 100% organic.

We take responsible ingredient sourcing as serious issue. Especially when we require ingredients be as contamination free as possible from the main 14-food allergens through the supply chain – from farm to fork. Not an easy task for a small startup like our business where finance, resources and manpower are limited. This means getting to know our suppliers far beyond the specs we can read on a label where possible.

Where possible, we buy fresh ingredients locally, in manageable quantities to ensure freshness to minimize food miles, warehousing and food waste in the supply chain. There are  ingredients which just cannot be sourced locally. Even so, we take great care as possible, to check our suppliers and the ingredients before purchasing.  In addition consistency in quality is important.

Our suppliers have at least one of the following certified accreditations: BRC Standards, SALSA Accreditation, Red Tractor Certified, Organic Soil Association Certified, UKAS Accredited Certification, ISO 22000 – Food Safety Management.

We understand Free-From Food does not mean catering for those just with Coeliac Disease and gluten-intolerance. Many of our customers have other food allergies but don’t have Coeliac Disease or be gluten intolerant, and prefer not to eat gluten-free food.  In addition we have customers who just love our artisan quality food because they are hooked from their first bite but have no known allergies or intolerance. We are proud to make our delicious products for all authentic food lovers.

COELIAC DISEASE

Coeliac disease is a condition by which a protein called gluten, damages the small intestine, impairing the absorption of food. Gluten is found in the cereal grain’s wheat, barley, rye and oats*. The small intestine recovers and returns to normal when gluten is withdrawn from the diet. The incidence of coeliac disease in the UK is now believed to be between 1 in 100, although it is thought that at least 60% are undiagnosed.

*Oats do not actually contain gluten but a very similar protein called avenalin. Many individuals with coeliac condition may be able to tolerate oats whilst other individuals may need to avoid them. The majority of oat products are contaminated with wheat, rye or barley and therefore making them unsuitable for a coeliac diet.

Symptoms vary between individuals. In infants, coeliac disease typically presents as failure to thrive and in children it can present as loss of appetite, diarrhoea, constipation and anaemia. With the adult population it can present at any age and with a wide variety of symptoms including: diarrhoea (50%), iron or folate deficiency anaemia (80%), chronic tiredness and lethargy (80%), other abdominal symptoms (bloating, flatulence, distension) (30%) and weight loss (50%). At one time, it was thought that coeliac disease only presented with severe symptoms, being exclusively diagnosed in those individuals who were acutely ill. However, it has become apparent over the past twenty years that some patients diagnosed with coeliac disease can present with very mild symptoms. Some studies have suggested that up to 70% of patients diagnosed with coeliac disease only have abnormal blood test results, such as mild anaemia and/or vitamin deficiencies.

If coeliac disease is suspected, a blood test is carried out. If this test is positive an endoscopy will be undertaken at the local hospital. This usually takes place in an outpatient clinic and involves a small camera being placed into the small intestine to examine the lining. A small sample is also taken to be studied under the microscope, confirming the diagnosis of coeliac disease. As well as the endoscopy, a blood test is usually carried out to identify any mineral and vitamin deficiencies. Unfortunately not all sufferers of coeliac disease have positive blood test result. Afia’s (founder of Afia’s Samosa Shop) mother had several negative test results over a period of 5 years. Doctors could not understand why she was severely anaemic. Only with an endoscopy was coeliac disease confirmed.

Treatment for coeliac disease is a life long gluten free diet. The sources of gluten can be divided into two sections:

The obvious sources which include wheat, barley, rye and oats, usually found in the form of flour. Therefore ordinary bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits, pastries, puddings and pies should be avoided.

The hidden sources include ingredients used in packaged food and drink. These can be the most difficult to avoid. Wheat flour is commonly used as a processing aid, a binder, filler or as a carrier for flavourings and spices. Foods can also become contaminated with wheat flour during manufacture, and patients with coeliac disease should check food labels for hidden sources.

A strict gluten free diet must be followed for life, to minimise the risk of developing other associated health problems. Without following a strict gluten free diet, deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals can occur, as there can be reduced absorption from the gut. Commonly, this is of calcium, iron, folic acid and vitamin B12. In the case of calcium the reduced absorption increases the risk of osteoporosis in later life. There is also an increased risk of intestinal cancer associated with poor compliance to the gluten free diet.

Firstly, you should be referred to a state registered dietitian. They will be able to explain the diet to you and offer you practical advice on how to follow the diet. Coeliac UK is a registered charity for people suffering from coeliac disease. They produce information on gluten free foods and can offer advice and information on all aspects of the condition. They will also be able to provide information on local coeliac groups that provide an opportunity to meet with others with coeliac disease. There are a wide range of gluten free specially manufactured products available to help replace those foods that must be avoided. These include breads, pasta, cookies, biscuits and pizza bases.

No, gluten is the protein found within wheat, barley and rye. This means that those individuals with coeliac disease need to avoid wheat, barley, rye and possibly oats (see section on ‘What is Coeliac Disease’). Those individuals on a wheat free diet can safely include other cereals in their diet. It is possible to remove gluten from the wheat grain, making a product gluten free, but not wheat free. For such products to be suitable for coeliacs, only a regulated level of gluten can be left within the grain. This is an internationally recognised standard level devised by Codex Alimentarius. Any food complying with this standard will be labelled as such E.g. this product contains Codex wheat starch. All of the products produced by Afia’s Food Limited are naturally both wheat and gluten free as other cereals (such as potato, rice, maize) are used in manufacturing.

All our products are naturally free-from Egg and Dairy ingredients. Our production kitchen is dairy and egg free.

Yes, all our products naturally free from All Nuts (ground nuts and tree nuts) and sesame. Our production facility is nut-free and sesame-free. Training is provided to all staff on the importance of not eating and not bringing products that contain or may contain nuts onto premises. We emphasise the importance of no nuts on our premises to all visitors before entering our premises.

We use dedicated utensils and equipment for gluten-free production separate from non-gluten-free production.  No dry gluten containing flour is brought into the main production room. The gluten containing pastry is made in a separate dedicated dough room. All products are made gluten-free before used as a filling with gluten-containing pastry.

Afia the founder of Afia’s Food / Samosa Shop, her mother has Coeliac Disease, diagnosed since early 1990’s. We understand the issues and complications cross contamination can have. For this reason we do not make gluten-free and gluten-containing products on the same production day. Between gluten-free and gluten-containing production deep cleaning of the premises is carried out, followed by swab tests for gluten-detection on surfaces, appliances, sinks and utensils. With an all clear result only then gluten-free production commences.

In addition we randomly send samples to an independent laboratory for allergen detection tests.

THE ENVIRONMENT

We believe in keeping packaging to a minimum. Most is either compostable or be recycled – eco-friendly. This is not just good for the environment  but also helps keep the cost down. We use “skin packs” for all our online order deliveries. Unfortunately this is not suitable for our retailers.  For retail buyer we use recyclable, compostable, biodegradable plastics where required but still with the aim of keeping packaging to an absolute minimum.

We understand that many buy because of attractive packaging.  Our aim is for consumers to buy because they like our food not because of the packaging. Bearing in mind attractive packaging come at a cost.

We only buy what we need to produce our products. During production we ensure little to no waste is generated. Finished products that don’t meet our high standard but our edible and tasty, are sold at a super discounted price locally through food apps eg Too Good To Go or Olio, or given as taster samples at our events and shows.

Those interested in receiving these tasty popular “rejects” - sorry, the cost of packaging and delivery is too expensive for us to absorb – can’t do.

At Afia’s Samosa Shop we’re very mindful of the sustainability of packaging used and sent out to customers.  We’re continuously looking at how we can reduce waste as a business while ensuring our food is in the best condition possible. We always aim to use packaging that contains recycled, biodegradable, or compostable materials, as well as packaging that can, where possible, be recycled in order to reduce our footprint and impact on the environment.

Packaging improvements have always been a priority in our business and the balance we strive to have the minimum packaging and the need to maintain food quality and safety (and thereby reduce food waste).

The courier box packaging for frozen food deliveries and food packaging currently used:

  • Commercially compostable – check with your local council:
    • The interleave sheets between flatbreads
    • Curry and chutney containers
    • Chutney container lid
  • Recycling bin:
    • Curry container lid
    • Outer labelled product packaging
    • Outer shipping box
    • Blue inner liner
  • Not compostable or recyclable:
    • Silver bubble wrap inner liner
    • Food Safe Celloptape used in parcel box
    • Hydrated Gel ice sheets
  • Re-use:
    • Hydrated Gel ice sheets – picnics, keep drinks chilled, back up for when fridge breaks down, must be frozen for these uses

The inner box silver bubble wrap lining can’t be recycled. Technology is not available to separate the different components to permit recycling. We can opt for a more expensive compostable inner box liner but then we’d have to pass the cost onto our customers.  When we can afford to absorb the cost or have greater purchasing power we promise to change the inner box silver bubble wrap and blue lining.  Good news at least is they have take minimum space at landfill sites.

The gel ice sheets we use can be re-used many times as long as the outer layer is cleaned well from previous food contacts. They can’t be recycled because the individual layers require separation. Again the technology is not yet available to separate the layers or to make biodegradable or compostable gel ice sheets.  To minimise volume in landfill please dehydrate first before disposing.  In the trials we found these to be most effective with maintaining the frozen food temperature for minimum 24-hours from dispatch to delivery.  The gel in the ice sheets is non-toxic and food contact safe. There are more expensive ice gel sheets, but require a deep freeze down to -35ᵒC to be affective. Unfortunately we just don’t have a freezer that goes that cold.  One day…………

It’s not possible to arrange collection of the delivery box outer corrugated box, inner lining and the ice sheets to reuse. The associated cost is too high. They would not be in excellent condition to re-use for other customer deliveries. When affordable totally eco-friendly / compostable shipping boxes become available we will sure change over to them.

ORDERS

Shortly after you've completed paying for your order you'll receive a confirmation email from us. This is our way of confirming your order, what you've ordered, and an estimated date for your order for dispatch and delivery.

All changes (including product swaps, changing delivery date, changing your delivery address, cancelling your order) need to be made before 24-hours of your order dispatch date.  This is so we can re-assign your items as necessary to other customers in the waiting list, and without having to open and damage the expensive frozen food courier boxes. Importantly, re-process the order or cancellation correctly in time without incurring additional charges from our third party courier service providers.  We try to reduce food waste as much as possible, so we need our deadline to make this happen.

Stopping your order is easy. Just email or telephone us with your name, delivery address and order number before 24 hours of the dispatch date. If by error by us your order is still dispatched and received by you it’s yours to keep at no cost to you. Otherwise cancellation requests received within 24 hours of dispatch date will incur full order value and delivery fee.

We currently use Stripe and PayPal for taking payments. Customers don’t need to have a PayPal account to pay for their order. You can use the debit and credit card payment facility with Stripe or PayPal, or can pay using your PayPal account. We accept all payment cards: VISA, MasterCard, Maestro and American Express. At shows and events we use Square app for taking payments in person.

We have a minimum purchase spend of £35 (not including postage which is from £8.90) for all orders to dispatch. This helps us to cover the cost of the special packaging for the frozen / chilled foods and ice mats. This starts from £8.00 depending on the size of your order. We absorb this cost and some of the delivery fee. We ask our customers to pay for the heavily subsidised Next Day Morning (AM) delivery fee. Next Day Delivery is from when order is dispatched, not when received.

Deliveries are scheduled only during the week (Tuesday – Friday) - depending on our production schedules to fulfil orders received. NO DELIVERIES for weekends, Mondays, Bank Holidays, and day after Bank Holidays. Saturday delivery option is available for an extra charge.

Your parcel items are perishable - time and temperature sensitive. For this reason if you are not going to be at the delivery address please make sure you let us know where your parcel can be left: either a safe place (eg behind the bins hidden away, or inside the porch, etc), with neighbour, or a delivery address different to the billing address (eg this could be your workplace, your friend / family members address, etc). Failed first delivery attempt may incur additional fee. A second delivery attempt may also incur additional delivery fee, and the parcel may arrive with goods perished. This could save you a trip to your local depot which can be a long way from home! We will email you with tracking details the day before delivery. It’s your responsibility to be available to accept the parcel or provide alternative instructions.
++ Overnight delivery is from when we dispatch your order – not from when your order is placed ++
++ Must provide contact number for each order – we or the courier company or delivery driver may need to contact you quickly if there is a problem++
For further information please refer to our Delivery Policy.

Once your order is dispatched, you should receive text or email to how to track your consignment by the delivery / courier service provider. This should include their customer service number to contact just in case there is a problem. If you don’t receive your consignment by 3pm latest please inform us by telephone or email us the very next working day. As with all courier deliveries, the delivery driver may in rare cases fail to deliver due to reasons not limited to excess workload, breakdown, forget to load the parcel to vehicle, even lose the parcel. Reasons which are beyond our control. Your patience in these situations is appreciated. We will do our best to resolve the situations. If all fails we will dispatch a replacement parcel at the earliest date possible as a gesture of good will and at our discretion. No refund will be given for your order.

Refunds are only offered in the following scenarios:

  • You the customer request to cancel your order before 24-hours of dispatch date.
  • We don’t have the products of your choice in stock due to the high demand in order volumes and a waiting time is required to make and process your order.

PLEASE NOTE: We don’t offer refunds where there are delivery issues beyond our and your (the customer’s) control. Only a replacement order for delivery is offered as a gesture of goodwill and at our discretion.

Presenting Afia’s Samosa Shop Gift Card will delight your love ones, friends or colleagues. To order a gift card for someone, just follow these steps:

·       Select 'Shop” then select “Gift & Card Vouchers” at the top bar of the page

·       Select value of the amount you wish to gift – this will open the message box

·       Enter the lucky recipient or multiple receivers email/s in the “TO” box

·       Add your name in the “FROM”

·       A message from the gift sender – go on….add your message to make them smile with appreciation

·       Click “Add to Basket”

·       Continue shopping or continue to Checkout

·       The Gift Card Voucher will automatically be emailed over to the recipients

All gift card vouchers are entered in the shopping basket page when checking out. The gift card voucher has an initial value. You can spend less than the initial value of the gift voucher and retain the remainder on the voucher for use later. For example, if a voucher has an initial value of £100 and a customer uses it to spend £40, then they can come back to our Online Samosa Shop at a later date and the gift voucher will still have £60 left to spend. Gift card vouchers cannot be redeemed for cash. Please don’t forget check expiry date of the gift card!

All our vouchers (including Gift Vouchers) have NO cash value.

No. The Gift Voucher cannot be used with another voucher code.

If you wish you can securely store your payment on your Afia’s Samosa Shop website in Checkout. So when you return to place future orders you can process a payment quickly. Only you the customer can access your payment details with your login.  If you have chosen to use a card to pay (you can use PayPal or Stripe as your payment method) for your order your details are hidden, with only the last four digits visible to yourself and our Customer Care Team.

We are proud to supply you with once eaten return for more  irresistibly moreish food.  In order for us to provide you with the best experience possible, we need to receive and hold the personal data provided by you on our system to enable us and our third party service providers to deliver and fulfil your orders. This includes: your order, which payment method used (NOT the payment details eg card number), your billing name and address, shipping address and name, emails, phone number.

We take the utmost care for the protection of your personal data along with fair and transparent data processing. If you are a Afia’s Samosa Shop customer, create an account with us, participate in competitions or promotion, sign up to receive information / newsletters / updates, offer to assist with our product and service development, or otherwise contact us, we will receive your personal data.

If you have created a customer account or selected option to save your payment option for ease of faster checkout with future purchases on our website, your details are password protected.  In order to protect your customer account and sensitive details from access by third parties, the website stores your user name and password, making your account only accessible by you, with your login details. Login username and password are auto-generated and emailed direct to you.  We have no access or control to this information.

Afia’s Samosa Shop values your privacy, for more information about how we processes your personal data please see our privacy policy. We do NOT share or sell your data to anyone. The necessary information we hold is strictly for us to fulfil your order / our services to you the customer.

[Tip: Please note that you may revoke your consent for us to hold your data at any time.]

We take the utmost care for the protection of your personal data along with fair and transparent data processing. If you are a Afia’s Samosa Shop customer, create an account with us, participate in competitions or promotions or otherwise contact us, we will receive your personal data. If you would prefer we don’t have this information, you can request for it to be erased - it's so simple. You would need to contact us and let us know of this change - we will then be able to erase your personal data right away.

[PLEASE NOTE: This process of erasure can take up to 28 days, but we can assure you that we will no longer keep any of your details or contact you in the future.]

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