26th March 2021
Regulation of precautionary allergen labelling (PAL), such as 'may contain ...' is 'desperately needed', according to Apetito's group technical manager Iain Mortimer, making the Food Standards Agency's (FSA's) review of PAL vital.
Unlike allergen declaration, there is no clear regulation or guidance on PAL and when it should be used. It is often used as a disclaimer to protect businesses rather than inform the customer, leaving the customer feeling excluded and confused.
You can read the full article HERE
Food Labelling Services comments:
Allergens are common constituents of consumer products with valuable functional and/or nutritional attributes which can cause adverse, even life-threatening, reactions in susceptible individuals. The unintended presence of small amounts of certain allergens which are not part of a product’s formulation as a result of manufacturing and other operations (and which are therefore not labelled) can pose a risk to allergic consumers. PAL has an important role to play in protecting allergic consumers but should only be used where a thorough risk assessment demonstrates that there is a real risk of a significant but unavoidable amount of allergen in the consumed product due to cross-contact within the ingredient supply chain or from manufacturing operations.
To support when precautionary allergen labelling applies and to further facilitate its optimal use for consumers, Food Labelling Services supports the development of UK & EU-wide, transparent management threshold levels based on the latest scientific evidence and guidance on appropriate forms of wording for labelling statements. This will allow the industry to consistently apply precautionary labelling and clearly communicate the allergen status of a food.