Original article by Zubi Sensational Food Labelling.
Disclaimer: MQA is a customer of Zubi Sensational Food Labelling. We use their online tool to develop labels for some of our MQA-clients. We believe this article may bring value to our customers and readers.
Proposal P1044: Plain English Allergen Labelling On 25th February 2021, the Food Standards Code was amended to incorporate Proposal P1044, Plain English Allergen Labelling. The new requirements in the labelling of food will help people to find allergen information on food labels more easily and more quickly.
There are 11 known foods and ingredients that can cause severe allergic reactions, which must be declared on labels when they are present in food sold in Australia and New Zealand. The format, wording and location of the allergen declaration, plus the use of mandatory specified terms in bold font, are now specified and must be adhered to.
Read the Approval Report for their decisions, and rationales for the decisions, read the Code in full here, and read on for some highlights that may be relevant to you.
Why was the change required?
Standard 1.2.3 Information requirements – warning statements, advisory statements and declarations of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code requires the mandatory declaration of the presence of certain foods or substances in food. But there was no requirement for how those statements should be made or the terminology to use. Making safe food choices was difficult for allergen sufferers and their caregivers. As a result, consumers unnecessarily excluded foods from their diet due to lack of confidence, or, worse, suffered potentially fatal reactions. Other consequences of the lack of clarity included compliance uncertainty both for industry and for regulators.
What changes were made?
FSANZ amended the Code to require the following:
Permitted generic names and conditions for their use
Zubi customers can be reassured the software will never be out-of-date. Being cloud-based, changes are rolled out regularly. Updates to label formatting will be live in ample time for customers to ensure compliance with the updated regulations - some are already in place.