Plain English allergen labelling now in effect in NZ

Monday, 26 February, 2024

Plain English allergen labelling now in effect in NZ

In February 2021, the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) was amended to introduce new requirements for the labelling of allergens in food. These plain English allergen labelling changes are designed to help people find allergen information on food labels more quickly and easily so they can make informed and safe food choices. These new requirements for food labels have now come into effect in New Zealand.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand, with input from New Zealand Food Safety, got valuable feedback from people affected by food allergies to help make sure the changes were effective and practical,” said New Zealand Food Safety Deputy Director-General Vincent Arbuckle.

All food packaged and labelled after Sunday, 25 February 2024 must declare allergens or provide statements about the contents where appropriate. The requirements will vary depending on how the food is packaged, labelled and sold, and the risk that needs to be identified. Under the changes, potentially life-threatening common allergens must be listed in bold in the ingredients list and summarised in a “contains” statement on the label.

For example, a warning statement must be included if the food or drink is or contains:

  • royal jelly
  • kava
  • infant formula products or infant foods
  • a formulated supplementary sports food.

The statement must be in writing at least 3 mm in height or 1.5 mm in height on a small package (under 100 cm2).

Any food packaged and labelled before 25 February 2024 under the previous allergen labelling rules can continue to be sold until 25 February 2026.

For the full details, visit here.

Image credit: Zigic

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