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Allergen Labelling - Legislation & Best Practice Guidance FreeFrom ‘Allergy & Intolerance’ Seminar 10 December 2008 Dr Chun-Han Chan Food Allergy Branch.

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Presentation on theme: "Allergen Labelling - Legislation & Best Practice Guidance FreeFrom ‘Allergy & Intolerance’ Seminar 10 December 2008 Dr Chun-Han Chan Food Allergy Branch."— Presentation transcript:

1 Allergen Labelling - Legislation & Best Practice Guidance FreeFrom ‘Allergy & Intolerance’ Seminar 10 December 2008 Dr Chun-Han Chan Food Allergy Branch Food Standards Agency

2 Types of Labelling Statutory requirements deliberate ingredients in pre-packed foods – implements EU legislation (Directive 2003/89/EC and subsequent Directives) Voluntary Best Practice Guidance labelling of possible allergen cross contamination allergen information provision for non pre-packed foods, including in catering establishments

3 List of Allergenic Ingredients Cereals containing gluten Crustaceans Eggs Fish Lupin Milk Molluscs Peanuts Sesame seeds Soybeans Tree nuts Celery Mustard Sulphite (above 10mg/kg or l)

4 EU Food Information Proposal proposal issued on 30 January 2008 aims to consolidate food labelling requirements into single piece of legislation incorporates existing provisions for allergen labelling for pre-packed foods proposes extending allergen labelling requirements to non-prepacked foods, including in catering businesses currently being negotiated with Commission and other Member States

5 Best Practice Guidance - providing allergen information for foods that are not pre-packed

6 Non Pre-Packed Foods - provision of information on allergens that are deliberate ingredients in foods Foods sold loose or pre-packed on the premises for direct sale, including in catering establishments –exempt from provisions of EU Directive 2003/89/EC Agency published best practice guidance in January 2008 Recent draft food information regulation proposes extending requirements for allergen labelling from pre-packed foods to foods sold non pre-packed

7 How to balance the needs for information of those that are allergic or intolerant to certain foods against the practical problems faced by businesses in supplying such information Which allergens? Following statutory or voluntary labelling? Dialogue between consumer and seller Non Pre-Packed Foods - Agency best practice guidance

8 Format of the Guidance Voluntary Best Practice Guidance booklet –background information –key messages –examples of issues to consider in range of different types of businesses Leaflet for small/micro businesses Poster


10 Main Guidance Document Aimed at medium and larger businesses and enforcement officers Full information on providing accurate information on the allergen content of the foods sold non pre-packed Practical advice on how to tackle allergy issues

11 Leaflet

12 Key Messages Aimed at small and micro businesses Highlights the key principles that businesses need to think about in a simple, easy to access format Introduces the 14 food allergens required to be labelled in pre-packed foods and where they can be found


14 Poster Highlights allergy issues in the non-prepacked foods sector Intended as a training aid to introduce the main allergens of concern Highlights how to deal with enquiries from food allergic customers May be of particular use in training staff who do not have English as their first language

15 Allergen information for non pre- packed foods - key messages Effective communication –between staff and customers –between food preparation staff and those dealing with customers Staff training Ingredient information

16 Effective Communication If a customer asks about the ingredients in a food: never guess –if you don’t know, try to find out –if you are unable to provide the information, say so –if information is unavailable, can you provide an alternative food? Always ensure staff are advised of any ingredient changes

17 Staff Training All staff should receive training on handling allergy information requests from their first day in the job There should be an agreed practice for dealing with allergy information requests and all staff should know about this Online training for enforcement officers which is also of use to anyone wanting to learn more about food allergy

18 Ingredients Information Know the ingredients in the food you sell Make sure ingredients information is accessible to all staff and is up to date If you use part-prepared ingredients, make sure you know what is in them Consider risks of allergen cross-contamination

19 Gluten Intolerance: Guidance An overview

20 Codex standard for gluten-free foods This is a revision of the previous standard for gluten-free foods agreed in 1983 The previous standard permitted products to be called ‘gluten free’ if there were less than 200 parts per million of gluten in the finished product After many years of discussions at Codex, a new standard was agreed in July 2008 As this is only guidance, a new EC regulation has drafted based on the Codex standard

21 New Codex standard - levels permitted & labelling Two different categories with foods being labelled according to the level of gluten they contain –<20ppm - labelled as ‘gluten-free’ or ‘naturally gluten-free’ –21-100ppm – decisions on the marketing and labelling of these products will be decided on a national level

22 Gluten Free – the EU Regulation EU Regulation has been made under PARNUTS framework – to be implemented by end of 2008 ‘gluten free’ = for all foods with <20ppm gluten ‘very low gluten’ = 21 - 100ppm gluten Food businesses will have a 3-year transition period before products have to comply Need for education for health professionals and consumers

23 Oats Oats can generally be tolerated by most but not all people intolerant to gluten Only oats which have been specially grown to ensure that they are <20ppm can be used in foods labelled ‘gluten free’

24 Timelines for implementation It is likely that a Commission final Directive will be published by the end of this year Businesses can start to use new labelling terms as soon as Regulation is implemented (20 days after publication in the Official Journal) food products that do not comply with the new requirements will become illegal on 1 January 2012

25 Agency – next steps gluten guidance for industry focus group work for gluten labelling work with consumer organisations (Coeliac UK) and health professionals to develop research areas to inform policy and advice

26 Dr Chun-Han Chan Food Allergy Branch, Room 6C, Aviation House 125 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6NH Tel: +44 20 7276 8602 Email: Contact Details

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