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Plain English Allergen Labelling – A New Requirement  

15/04/2024by admin0Read: 2 minutes

New rules for labelling food allergens in Australia and New Zealand that came into practice on February 25, 2024. The rules, known as “P1044—Plain English Allergen Labelling,” are enforced by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). They require allergen information on food labels to be clear and easy to find, using simple English in bold font.

These new regulations for allergen labelling in food mark a significant shift towards clearer and more consistent information for consumers. They aim to enhance allergen information on food labels, making it easier for individuals with allergies to identify potential risks.

Why Were These Changes Implemented?

The decision to implement these changes stems from the recognition that certain foods and ingredients can trigger severe allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code mandates the declaration of allergens on food labels when present. However, inconsistencies and ambiguity in labelling practices prompted the need for clearer guidelines.

In 2017, FSANZ initiated Proposal P1044 to address these issues and improve the clarity and consistency of allergen labelling, particularly through the adoption of plain English. This proposal underwent a thorough assessment process, incorporating scientific evidence, stakeholder feedback, and a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis.

The process involved a literature review, safety assessment, and two rounds of public consultation to gather diverse perspectives and ensure the effectiveness of the proposed changes.

Key Changes in the Labelling Requirements:

Here are the key changes introduced in the new labelling requirements:

1) Specific Format and Location:

The new requirements specify a particular format and location on food labels where allergen information must be declared. This standardized approach ensures that allergen details are prominently displayed, facilitating quicker identification.

2) Plain English Terms in Bold Font:

Another important change is the use of simple, plain English terms presented in bold font. This enhancement aims to make allergen information more accessible and understandable for all consumers, especially those with allergies who rely on clear labelling to make safe food choices.

Supporting Documents and Resources:

For those interested in delving deeper into the background and details of Proposal P1044, FSANZ has made available various reports and supporting documents:

  1. P1044 Approval Report
  2. Call for Submissions
  3. Summary of Submissions
  4. Safety Risk Assessment
  5. Costs and Benefits Analysis
  6. Previous Work on Plain English Allergen Labelling:

This initiative builds upon previous efforts by FSANZ to enhance the regulatory management of food allergens. In 2006, ministers commissioned a review of food allergen management, with findings published in 2010. Additionally, in 2016, FSANZ conducted a review of allergen labelling terminology, consulting key stakeholders involved in food allergen management to refine labelling practices further.

The implementation of these new allergen labelling requirements represents a significant step forward alongside compliance with the regulatory requirements, in ensuring the safety and well-being of consumers, particularly those with food allergies. By providing clearer and more consistent information, these changes empower individuals to make informed choices about the foods they consume, contributing to safer and healthier communities.

At Anitech, we believe this significant regulation will help prevent food allergies to a greater extent, and we invite businesses to collaborate with us for an allergen-free future.

So, are you ready to take that important step to offer consistent information on food labels and help customers make informed choices?

Here is a chance to cement consumer trust by implementing the new regulations for food labelling with the help of Anitech’s Food Safety Consultants.

Call us today at 1300 802 163 or e-mail – sales@anitechgroup.com.

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