Allergen labelling in plain English — changes to Code approved
Certain foods and ingredients can cause severe allergic and other adverse reactions in some people. The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) requires these to be declared on labels when they are present in food.
As it currently stands, the Code requires the 11 known foods and ingredients that can cause severe allergic reactions to be declared on labels when they are present in food. But until now there were no requirements on how these declarations must be made.
On 25 February 2021 the Code was amended to introduce new requirements for the labelling of allergens in food.
These requirements include that allergen information is to be declared:
- in a specific format and location on food labels, and
- using simple, plain English terms in bold font.
The P1044 — Plain English Allergen Labelling (PEAL) has been designed to make allergen labelling more transparent and consistent on Australian food packaging.
The allergens must be stated using mandatory specified terms in bold font and the allergen label must also follow specified guidelines regarding the format, wording and location of the declaration.
Businesses have been given three years from 25 February 2021 to implement the new requirements. During this transition period, food businesses can comply with either the existing allergen declaration requirements in the Code, or the new requirements.
A two-year stock-in-trade period will follow the transition period. Any food packaged and labelled with existing allergen declarations before the end of the transition period may be sold for up to two years after the end of the transition period.
For further information, visit https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/code/proposals/Pages/P1044PlainEnglishAllergenLabelling.aspx.
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