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P1044 – Plain English Allergen Labelling

(November 2019)

We are working on a proposal to make allergen labelling requirements clearer and more consistent, to help food allergen-sensitive consumers and food businesses.

The Food Standards Code already requires the mandatory declaration of 11 foods or substances which can cause severe allergic and other reactions (for simplicity, these are collectively referred to as ‘allergens’). However, it does not include requirements for how and where the declarations must be made on food labels.

We released a second call for submissions for this proposal on 29 November 2019 and these documents are available below.

The period for comment closes on 27 February 2020.

The first call for submissions for this proposal was released in March 2018.

What changes are being proposed?

Based on feedback received to the first call for submissions, and further assessment undertaken by FSANZ, the second call for submissions proposes draft amendments to the Food Standards Code. The purpose of these changes is to make allergen information clearer, more consistent and prominent for consumers.

In summary, these changes would require:

  • the use of mandatory specified terms for allergen declarations
  • the separate declaration of molluscs; individual tree nuts: almond, Brazil nut, cashew, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, pine nut, pistachio and walnut; and wheat, barley, rye, oats or spelt or their hybrids
  • for packaged foods: declaration of allergens in the statement of ingredients using bold font and in a separate emboldened allergen summary statement; and use of the terms ‘gluten’ or 'tree nut' in the allergen summary statement when these are present.

Have your say

We are seeking feedback on these proposed changes from all interested individuals and organisations. The period for comment closes on 27 February 2020.

Information received in response to the second call for submissions will help inform our decision on this proposal.

Find out more about how to make a submission here.

All FSANZ decisions on proposals are notified to the ministers responsible for food regulation, who can ask for a review or agree that the proposal should become law.

 

Proposal P1044 call for submissions and supporting documents

 

2nd Call for submissions - 29 November 2019 (pdf 926 kb) | (word 250 kb)

 

 

Submissions (zip 23,924 kb) 

1st Call for submissions - 1 March 2018 (pdf 920 kb) | (word 150 kb) 

 
 

Previous work on plain English allergen labelling

Ministers asked FSANZ to undertake a review of the regulatory management of food allergens. FSANZ published the findings of this review in 2010. Read the review report.

In 2016, FSANZ completed a review into whether consumers experience difficulties identifying the presence of allergens from the terminology used to declare the allergen on food labels. FSANZ consulted targeted key stakeholders involved in food allergen management as part of the review.

Read the full report of the review (pdf 61kb) | (word 17kb).

Summary of issues raised in submissions (pdf 521kb) | (word 100kb).

Submissions (zip file 16.1MB)

The results of the review have formed the basis for starting work on Proposal P1044 – Plain English Allergen Labelling.

More information

Allergen labelling page

Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia

Allergy New Zealand

 

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