Allergen labelling to be more consistent across EU

05th July 2012 - Fine Cut

Allergen information on food packs is set to gain consistency across the whole of Europe in order to make life easier for manufacturers and allergy sufferers.

Dr Rachel Ward, chair of the Food and Drink Federation, is hopeful that the collaborative work of allergen experts across the globe can help deliver a more consistent approach when it comes to putting allergen warnings on labels.

Reported by, an action level for an allergen denotes the amount per portion which would not elicit severe reactions in the vast majority of individuals reception to the allergy, added Ward.

The Anaphylaxis Campaign has welcomed this tactic, describing the potential to reduce unnecessary 'may contain' labelling by this approach as a 'step in the right direction'.

Moira Austin, helpline manager for the Anaphylaxis Campaign, commented on the labels: "We are taking the long-term view that it will improve information for allergy sufferers because food manufacturers will only use allergy warnings where it is absolutely necessary.

"Our understanding is if they have these set [action] levels then it will ease the pressure on industry. And they will hopefully only use 'may contain' warnings where it has been demonstrated that there is a genuine risk and that the allergens have been found at that level or above," she added.

Ward's comments coincide with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland claiming that allergen labels on food is, in many cases, inconsistent, reports.

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