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Around the World - Food Allergy Labeling Laws: International Guidelines for Residents and Travelers


May 15, 2023

The prevalence of food allergies varies by country, as does each country’s food allergen labeling. While labeling laws may vary by country, most follow the Codex Alimentarius. Even developing countries have some degree of labeling guidelines for food allergies, but it is highly developed countries that tend to implement stricter labeling regulations to protect their citizens and tourists. Different organizations, both domestic and international, such as Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), work to advance food allergen labeling laws around the globe. Eating out and traveling can be anxiety-provoking for people with food allergies, especially when traveling to international destinations. Furthermore, experiences that young children, teenagers, and parents have with food allergies can have psychosocial and social impacts. To evaluate food allergen labeling laws across the globe, official legal documents outlining the laws pertaining to foods and allergen food labeling were reviewed for each respective country or region. These were organized according to continent, then region or country. The majority of countries require that major food groups be listed on food labels, including milk, egg, soy, wheat, peanuts, treenuts, fish, and shellfish. There are individual variations across regions depending on staples in respective diets. With increasing rates of food allergies worldwide, legislative action is needed to ensure that people living with food allergies can more safely purchase and consume foods. Until then, the work of avoiding accidental ingestions and anaphylaxis remains primarily with the individual, who must educate themselves on labeling laws and implement other protective measures.

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