Australia and New Zealand amend mandatory labeling requirements for food allergens
By: Date: 2021-04-09 Categories: Internationalfood Tags: ,
   Recently, the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Agency revised the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and introduced new mandatory allergen warning declaration requirements. The new requirements include the allergen declaration in a specific format and location on the food label, and the use of pure English terminology with bold fonts. These new requirements will help people find allergen information on food labels faster and easier so that they can make wise and safe food choices. The Food Partners Network will share relevant key information with you regarding this revision of the mandatory labeling of food allergens.
  一. Background introduction
  Certain foods and ingredients may cause severe allergies and other adverse reactions to some people, posing a major threat to the health of people with food allergies.”Australia and New Zealand Food Standard Code” Standard 1.2.3″Information Requirements for Warnings and Warnings Claims” stipulates that when food contains these allergens, it must be declared on the label. However, the standard does not specify the terms that should be used when making an allergen declaration, nor does it specify how to make the declaration.
  The lack of clear requirements on how to label allergens has brought uncertainty about compliance to the industry and regulatory agencies when implementing the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Although the industry has voluntary guidance documents on how to best label allergens, including the”Allergen Management and Labeling Food Industry Guidelines” and the”New Zealand Allergen Food Labeling Guidelines”, food producers or food importers are not always Follow or apply this guidance document in a consistent manner, which creates inconsistencies in allergen labels. In addition, due to the unclear and inconsistent allergen declarations, it is difficult for consumers (and their caregivers) with food allergies to use label information to make safe food choices. Consumers cannot even identify the presence of allergens in the food, leading to a potentially fatal reaction, namely anaphylactic shock. Other adverse effects include:refusal to eat food because of uncertainty about the existence of allergens, spending more energy and time searching for allergen information, and lack of confidence in allergen labels.
   Therefore, the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Agency prepared Proposal P1044 in 2017, considering amendments to the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code, by stipulating the expression of allergen information and using pure English allergen labels to make allergens The information is clearer and more consistent. The Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Agency conducted a literature review, safety assessment and two rounds of public comment consultation on the proposal, and finally issued regulations to amend the mandatory labeling requirements for food allergens on February 25, 2021.
  Second, revised content
  The new requirements include:Allergen declarations in a specific format and location on food labels, and use pure English terminology with bold fonts. The specific requirements are as follows:
   (1) Mark the designated name of the allergen in the ingredient list. If the food is a processing aid, the word”processing aid” must be added before the designated name. For example:processing aids (wheat, egg) (processing aids (wheat, egg)); processing aid containing wheat.
   (2) Mark a summary allergen statement near the ingredient list. Start with the word”containing”, and then list the designated names of each food to be labeled. For example:Contains milk, egg, almonds, soy, wheat and sesame.
   The mandatory declaration in the following table specifies the list of substances that can cause food allergies and the mandatory designation of allergen labels.
   Mandatory Statement
Food category
Exemptions
Names that must be used in the ingredient list
Names that must be used in other declarations
1
Add sulfite concentration10mg/kgor above
sulphites
sulphites
2
The followingany cereal(including its hybrid strain) If they contain *gluten:
Cereals or their hybrid strains in beer or spirits
Barley
barley
gluten
Oats
oats
gluten
rye
rye
gluten
3
Wheat (including its hybrid strains), whether or not it contains gluten
(a) Wheat or its hybrid strains in beer and spirits;
(b) Glucose syrup made from wheat starch:(i) After a refining process, the gluten content is reduced to the lowest reasonably achievable level; and (ii) the gluten content does not exceed 20 mg/kg;
(c) Alcohol distilled from wheat.
wheat
(a)wheat; and
(b) if gluten is present-gluten.
4
Any of the following nuts:
Almonds
almond
almond
Brazil Nuts
Brazil nut
Brazil nut
Cashew nuts
cashew
cashew
Hazelnut
hazelnut
hazelnut
Macadamia nuts
macadamia
macadamia
Pecans
pecan
pecan
Pine nuts
pine nut
pine nut
Pistachio
pistachio
pistachio
Walnuts
walnut
walnut
5
CarapaceClassAnimal
crustacean
crustacean
6
Egg
egg
egg
7
Fish
The fish gelatin extracted from fish swim bladder is used as a clarifying agent in beer or wine
fish
fish
8
Lupin
lupin
lupin
9
Milk
Alcohol extracted from whey
milk
milk
10
Mollusks
mollusc
mollusc
11
Peanuts
peanut
peanut
12
Sesame
sesame
sesame
13
Soybeans
(a) Soybean oil that has been degummed, neutralized, bleached and deodorized;
(b) Soybean derivatives of tocopherols or phytosterols;
soy, soya or soybean
soy
   Food Standards Australia and New Zealand has developed a five-year implementation plan to support the new requirements. From February 25, 2021, companies have 3 years to implement the new requirements. During this transition period, food companies can comply with the previous allergen declaration requirements of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, or they can comply with the new requirements. After the transition period is over, there will be a two-year inventory period. Any food that has been packaged and affixed with the original allergen declaration before the end of the transition period can be sold within two years after the end of the transition period.
  三. Summary
   Australia and New Zealand amends mandatory food allergen labeling requirements, which is expected to have a greater impact on my country’s food export trade. Please relevant export companies are familiar with the new allergen labeling requirements and implementation dates, and prepare in advance to avoid trade losses . During the transition period, ensure that imported foods are labeled with allergens in accordance with previous or new regulations. Ask the supplier for ingredient information, product specification sheets and sample labels to verify compliance. Develop a plan to ensure that food labeling meets the new requirements after the transition period is over.