Luxury spa chain Champneys is facing legal trouble after allegedly telling guests its apple crumble can reduce the risk of cancer.
The company is also accused of failing to tell guests about potentially deadly allergens in its restaurant food, and not disclosing a low food hygiene rating at its Forest Mere resort.
Champneys was scheduled for a court appearance on Tuesday after West Sussex county council launched a prosecution against the chain on 19 charges related to food safety, information, nutrition and consumer protection laws.
However the case was adjourned until later this week after neither Champneys nor the county council showed up to Brighton Magistrates' Court, prompting Judge Amanda Kelly to say she was "rather annoyed".
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Champneys is facing five charges of breaching the law over allegedly making unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits of the apple crumble served on its premises.
It's claimed guests were told the dessert could reduce the risk of "cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes".
Another dish, the black rice, quinoa and ginger salad, allegedly bore a nutritional label claiming it was "anti-inflammatory".
Other allegations involve the chain's obligations in regards to allergen information.
It's claimed Champneys failed to tell guests about gluten, mustard, eggs and soybeans in its restaurant food, despite those ingredients being among the 14 allergens food businesses are legally required to flag to customers.
The Guardian reports Champneys allegedly sold diners a "vegan" pad thai that contained milk.
The spa also stands accused of failing to disclose a low food hygiene rating of just two out of five for its Forest Mere resort in Liphook, West Sussex. The Food Standard Agency's guidelines say such a score indicates "some improvement is necessary".
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Businesses in England do not legally have to display their rating at their premises, but are encouraged to do so.
Champneys denies all charges.
Its website claims the chain considers dietary requirements, health conditions, religious beliefs, intolerances and allergies, aiming to "provide nutritional information wherever possible".
"Our philosophy is simple; at Champneys, it's all about healthy, delicious and beautiful food. Steering away from all the fads and fallacies, we keep things honest and enjoyable," the website reads.
There are five Champneys resorts in England, located in Sussex, Leicestershire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Kent. There are also six "city spas" in metropolitan areas.
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