Allergen Labelling - Update
January 04, 2017 at 2:36 PM
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) have recently completed a review of the way that allergens are declared on food products, and have noted a number of issues that require addressing.
FSANZ state in their report that this problem is primarily due to a lack of standard practices for declaring allergens and a lack of clarity in the Food Standards Code as follows:
- The lack of standardization across allergen declarations is resulting in the use of unfamiliar and unrecognisable terms, particularly those made in the ‘contains’ statement. Further investigation of possible options is required for standardising the use of plain English terms acrossall allergen declarations made on food labels
- The requirements of Standard 1.2.3 need to be clear that the presence of individual cereals (wheat, oats, rye, barley and their hybrids) and individual tree nuts are to be declared, and not declared using collective terms.
- Clarifying the Code so that the presence of gluten is declared separately from declarations about the presence of specific cereals in the food, would address the ambiguity associated with declaring these cereal allergens and food substances which cause severe reactions through food intolerances
- The Code needs to be clearer in respect to the terms ‘fish’/‘finfish’, ‘crustacea’ and ‘molluscs’ for allergen declaration purposes
- The requirements of Standard 1.2.3 need to make it clear that molluscs or products of molluscs in a food are to be declared separately from ‘fish’.
To read the report, and to download the latest VITAL guidelines Click here