The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published updates to their food allergen labelling and information technical guidance.
The Guidance on Change Management of Allergen Information, includes best practice considerations such as additional consumer communications and the importance of information sharing across the whole supply chain. This will help to support the around two million people in the UK who have a food allergy and rely on food labels to inform their food choices.
The FSA’s guidance can be separated into three key points for food businesses to take note of. These include:
- Only applying a PAL if there is an unavoidable risk of allergen cross-contamination which cannot be sufficiently controlled by segregation and cleaning.
- Specifying which of the 14 major allergens the PAL refers to – for example, using “may contain peanuts” rather than a generic “may contain nuts” statement.
- Using PAL statements in combination with a ‘vegan’ label where a risk of cross-contamination with an allergen has been identified. A ‘vegan’ label communicates different information to a ‘free-from’ claim, which is food safety information aimed at different consumer groups.
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